World Diamond Conference Begins in New Delhi

New Delhi: The much awaited event ‘World Diamond Conference-India’ (WDCI) began today in New Delhi. The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), in association with the World Diamond Mark Foundation (WDMF) and with the support from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, has organized the first ever-global congregation of diamond industry leaders in India.

Mr. Vipul Shah, Chairman of the GJEPC while welcoming the delegates gave an overview of the Indian diamond industry.

“The WDCI comes at an important moment in the diamond industry’s history,” WDMF Chairman Mr. Alex Popov said. “It will set the tone for the future of the relationship between the Russian and the Indian diamond industry and trade,” he noted.

“For the international diamond business community, the inaugural WDCI has the potential of becoming an important milestone. Here in Delhi, the World Diamond Mark Foundation hopes the industry will take yet another step to come together under a singular, unified effort to reintroduce the generic marketing and branding of diamonds to the global consumer market. The changes, growth and diversification of the luxury consumer product market mandate such an effort, and we wish to impress that upon the participants during our discussion at the conference,” Popov added.

Rio Tinto underscored the importance of its strategic partnership in India in driving growth and future opportunities in the global diamond industry.

Rio Tinto Diamonds MD Mr. Jean-Marc Lieberherr said “Our partnership with the Indian diamond industry is a 30-year journey that covers everything from diamond manufacturing technology, to unique market development initiatives and the first diamond discovery in India in decades.

“Development of our Bunder diamond project in Madhya Pradesh is a natural continuation of the partnership model and would put India among the top 10 diamond producing countries in the world.

“The Bunder project is positive proof of the natural abundance of India and provides the ideal opportunity to showcase a new benchmark for mine development in India. The opportunity to produce diamonds mined, manufactured and marketed in India on a commercial scale is exciting and very much aligned to the ‘Make in India’ campaign.”

The Bunder diamond project, discovered in 2004 and currently awaiting approvals will generate an estimated 30,000 jobs and huge economic benefits for India.

Rio Tinto’s Argyle Diamonds mine in Australia will be delivering increased volumes from 2015 which will have a direct impact on the Indian manufacturing sector. Further downstream Rio Tinto Diamonds is continuing its focus on the retail sector with its flagship Indian marketing initiative, Nazraana™ which promotes affordable diamond jewellery as gifts for all occasions.