Surat: Diamond companies from Belgium, Dubai, Israel and Hong Kong are interested in joining the proposed Surat diamond exchange and have applied for membership, according to Dinesh Navadiya, president of the Surat Diamond Association (SDA), reports The Economic Times.
The proposed exchange, is likely to be almost as large as Mumbai’s Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB), and the government is in the process of finalizing the land for the exchange, he said.
“The new bourse will facilitate diamond trade in Surat and will take almost two years to complete,” he said. “Apart from global players, we have received 10,000 applications from the diamond trade from all over India.”
Chandrakant Sanghavi, Gujarat regional chairman of the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), said that membership of the exchange doesn’t mean Mumbai diamond traders who operate out of the BDB have to move to Surat.
“It is not mandatory. Whoever wants to shift to Surat can do it according to his own will. The exchange will help small and medium diamond units who do not have the capability to set up shop in BDB,” said Sanghavi.
“Real estate prices in Mumbai are beyond their reach … Real estate is much cheaper [in Surat], the taxation structure is favorable and the entire [diamond] processing activity is concentrated there.”
For small and medium diamantaires, costs would be lower by a third if they are based in Surat, enabling them to invest further in business, he said.
“It has become difficult, particularly for small diamantaires to operate from Mumbai. Even some of the employees are unwilling to work from Mumbai as the cost of living has skyrocketed. Moreover, Surat is the hub of polished diamonds, therefore there is a ready ecosystem available for us to function,” said Sanghavi.