Ramat Gan: The Israel diamond industry is planning to help Turkey advance its diamond sector, according to reports in the Israeli press. Globes quoted Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) senior vice president Jacob Katten as saying, “If we don’t help the Turks in this area, there are more than a few countries that will be glad to do it, including India and South Africa. The Turkish jewelry industry appreciates Israel’s capabilities in this field, and in the new cooperation, we’ll help to establish advanced diamond polishing.”
He said that the leaders of the Turkish industry have proposed opening a large diamond compound in Istanbul, a large part of which will be used to manufacture diamonds. “They need the know-how and technology that we can make available to them,” said Katten.
He cited lower labor costs in Turkey – around $450-$500 compared to $2,000 in Israel – as well as proximity to markets in Europe as big draws for cooperation.
Kattan also cited the potential access into markets, especially in the Arab world, that are currently closed to Israeli businesses. “With the development of our relations with Turkey in this area, we’ll be able to enter more countries through the back door. We’ll send experts and advanced technologies to Turkey, and do some of the diamond polishing work within Turkey,” Kattan told Globes.
As part of the increased cooperation, the IDE is apparently considering opening an office in Istanbul. At the same time, the local diamond manufacturers’ organization, aided by the Israeli industry, will found a diamond merchants club that will be registered at the World Federation of Diamond Bourses.
Globes cited IDE president Shmuel Schnitzer as calling the connection between the two industries as a strategic one. “It is very important to strengthen commercial ties with the Turkish jewelry sector. This is a large market that can be opened to Israeli diamond merchants. Turkey is emerging as a future leading jewelry manufacturer, and the connection between us is strategically important,” he said.