Antwerp: The World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) has announced the schedule for the 37th World Diamond Congress, the biennial meeting of the WFDB and the International Diamond Manufacturers Association (IDMA), which takes place in Dubai from May 16 to 19. The first day of the Congress is taken up with meetings of the WFDB’s major committees: the Judicial, Trade and Business, Promotion, and the Executive Committee.
The opening session of the Congress is on May 17th, with speeches from WFDB President Ernie Blom, IDMA President Maxim Shkadov, Dubai Diamond Exchange Chairman Peter Meeus, and Executive Chairman of the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre and Chair of the Kimberley Process, Ahmed Bin Sulayem. The keynote speech will be given by Geshe Michael Roach, while guest speakers will be Diamond Producers Association CEO Jean-Marc Lieberherr and World Diamond Mark Foundation Chairman Alex Popov. The day ends with a UAE Banking Seminar hosted by Peter Meeus with the participation of Dubai-based bankers. The WFDB will be holding working sessions in the afternoon.
The second day will open with a major session on financing for the global diamond and jewellery industry as well as the need for financial transparency. Speeches will be followed by a panel session including Howard Davies and Feriel Zerouki of De Beers, David Bouffard from Signet Jewelers Ltd, and Mahesh Khemlani, President of the Panama Diamond Exchange. The rest of the day will be taken up with working sessions of the WFDB and IDMA before the Congress Gala Dinner.
The final day of the Congress will feature an important panel session entitled ‘Transparency, Responsibility, Sustainability in Producing Countries’ featuring several guest panelists. The Congress will end with a press conference where Ernie Blom, Maxim Shkadov and Peter Meeus will present their views on the major issues of the meetings and will answer questions from the media.
“After many months of meetings and consultations, the World Diamond Congress is almost upon us,” said Blom. “This will be a critical meeting because we have many important issues to discuss. We are also excited by the new format of this Congress which will feature panel sessions for the first time. I believe this will be an excellent innovation because it will ensure widespread audience participation. I am looking forward to a successful Congress and meeting up again with all the WFDB and IDMA presidents, as well as the many guest speakers, panelists and attendees from across the diamond pipeline,” Blom added.