Lisbon: A new diamond exchange, which is a private project with private investors, may kick off its operations in Lisbon, presumably in two or three years from now. Though the whole venture is so far in the making and ‘not all is guaranteed yet’, in the words of Vitor Rita, its Project Manager, it has its location almost set and it is near the Lisbon International Airport, since its founding members want to keep it right there.
It is too early to discuss any exact date for commissioning the Lisbon Diamond Exchange, until all the pertinent licenses are ready. Nevertheless, the project has performed a virtual debut on Facebook to blaze a trail for the brick-and-mortar thing.
According to Vitor Rita, the diamond exchange will spread out on an area of 30,000 square meters trading in rough and polished diamonds, as well as in gold and jewelry. It will give shelter to diamond cutting companies, diamond labs, diamond schools, security companies, banks, etc.
“The Lisbon Diamond Exchange will have the capacity to accept from 150 to 200 companies from anywhere in the world,” Vitor Rita said, adding that geographically the exchange will be ready to deal with any customer in the diamond related business.
“We have been doing this business for 500 years and we did bring the first diamonds ever to Antwerp in the 15th century. The Lisbon Diamond Exchange will be a new platform offering new ideas in diamond trading and marketing,” he said and expressed his hope that this exchange would have enough business with jewelry and gold trading going on in the same building.
There was no provisional estimate of the trade volume this diamond exchange will have, but Vitor Rita said the work was going on to produce it.
Since August 7, 2015, Portugal became the seventh EU member-state to join the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme for the international trade in rough diamonds, while the European Union takes part in the KP as a single entity. According to Paulo Núncio, Portugal’s Secretary of State for Fiscal Affairs, this event provided legal grounds for the development of this new economic sector in Portugal.
Though this market in Portugal is brand new, Vitor Rita said, but the Lisbon International Airport expects first arrivals of rough diamonds starting from January, 2016, for which purpose the authorities are creating a free trade zone near the airport furnished with state-of-the-art equipment (including, among other things, even gold refineries – all this inside the Lisbon Diamond Exchange building), ‘turning it into a small Dubai.’ “We want to invite all companies related to diamond services or diamond business to join this project,” Vitor Rita said in conclusion.