We Should Strive to be Realistic Optimists

Ali Pastorini

Panama: Ms. Ali Pastorini, the young and learned Vice President of the World Jewelry Hub (WJH) and Senior Vice President of Panama Diamond Exchange (PDE) writes here exclusively for G2J and evaluates the year gone-by.

2015 was a challenging year for the diamond and jewelry industries. Most would agree. Indeed a great many commentators predicted that the business would be forever changed, and some of its participants would not survive.

Whether one regards the situation as apocalyptic depends upon your perception of history. I do not, and rather consider this latest period as a moment in an ongoing evolution, which offers opportunity as well as risk. Economies are inevitably cyclical, and vulnerabilities exist in any business segment. Obviously some are stronger than others, but I don’t believe there is a perfect formula for avoiding crisis, because we cannot control all the various factors. What do exist are formulae to combat crises, and, more importantly, to adapt to new realities.

In fact, 2015 provided our industry with a reality check, for it was a year during which we learned that we cannot disregard the basic principles of supply and demand, and to do so inevitably creates imbalances in the pipeline that sooner or later need to be rectified. The so-called pessimists who had warned about an impending slowdown were shown to be realists, and their common-sense approach offered solutions for dealing with the current situation. One of the lessons I hope was learned is that we would have been better prepared if we all had communicated better, rather than acting independently out of what some may have believed was individual interest. (Read more)