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Bharat Diamond Week strengthens Russia-India ties

The second edition of the Bharat Diamond Week was launched on 8 October in Mumbai, India.

Hosted at the Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB), the three-day event was opened by Andrei Zhiltsov, counsul general of the Russian Federation in Mumbai and Evgeny Agureev, director of Alrosa’s United Selling Organisation.

After cutting the ribbon at the opening ceremony Zhiltsov spoke of Russia’s ties to India in the cut and polished diamond industry: “Up to 90 per cent of polished diamonds in the world originate in India. This country was the first to cut and polish diamonds, and India is by far the world's largest cutting and polishing centre. In addition, Russia is the largest producer of rough diamonds, and I would say that our countries are therefore made for each other,” he said.

The BDB complex houses over 5,000 members with 2,700 offices and 120 Indian polished diamond companies were welcomed to exhibit goods at the event. More than 750 visitors from India and overseas registered to attend, and BDB vice president Mehul Shah said he believed the Diamond Week’s objective was achieved in terms of assisting small and medium-sized firms.

Shah said the industry was facing many challenges, and the Bourse provided 100 complimentary flights to selective buyers to foster opportunities for exhibitors.

"Russia is the largest producer of rough diamonds, and I would say that our countries are therefore made for each other.”
Andrei Zhiltsov, Alrosa’s United Selling Organisation, Director

“They do not receive bank finance or full value for their diamonds. Sourcing diamonds is also difficult for them. The Bharat Diamond Week was created to uplift the lower and middle segment of the diamond business, and we are committed to strengthening the small and medium-sized enterprises sector,” Shah said.

The event also addressed concerns about the expanding synthetic diamond industry and provided on-site facilities for scanning goods, with major firms including Sarine Technologies and OGI Systems stationed at the complex.

"It is critical for our business that consumer confidence in our products remains intact. This is absolutely paramount. Consequently, we have a display of equipment for the detection of such stones so that diamantaires can see the equipment available, how straightforward it is to operate, and the financial outlay involved," Shah said.

BDB president Anoop Mehta announced the Diamond Week would continue to run twice-yearly again in 2019 from 1-3 April and 14-16 October and noted the presence of Indian and Russian representatives was integral at this month’s event.

"India and Russia have close ties, and the BDB hopes for ever stronger ties in order to expand rough sales, and also for the Russian consumer market to open up to the sale of India's polished diamonds and jewellery,” Mehta said.

“We are also looking for Alrosa to increase the number of viewing days of rough diamonds at the India Diamond Trading Centre (IDTC), where diamonds can be shown for viewing and then taken back for the tender process,” he added.

More reading
India’s diamond hub opens doors to Australians
Bharat Diamond Bourse announces second event


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