RAPAPORT... The opening session of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) and International Diamond Manufacturers Association (IDMA) presidents meeting in Tel Aviv on Monday highlighted the most pressing issues facing the midstream of the diamond industry.
"Unfortunately, there is no shortage of challenges," Ernie Blom, the chairman of the WFDB told attendees. "Our members face an uphill battle on a daily basis to secure funding and we also face an almost impossible position due to the high prices of rough that we, as an industry, are paying and are responsible for."
Other speakers at the opening session agreed that the major issues facing the diamond industry include the lack of profitability, difficulty accessing adequate financing and a lack of transparent diamond grading among polished manufacturers and dealers.
Other speakers during the morning session included Shmuel Schnitzer, the president of the Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE), Maxim Shkadov, the president of IDMA and Jacob Korn, the president of the Israel Diamond Manufacturers Association (IsDMA).
Schnitzer and Korn also pointed to a perceived need for greater transparency in the determination of polished diamond prices. Shkadov added that the lack of category marketing also needs to be addressed.
These challenges and others, including the threat of undisclosed synthetic diamonds and inconsistent grading standards, will be discussed in the coming days of the meeting.
The presidents meeting is a biennial event held by the WFDB and IDMA.