The recent global recession has been the most severe one the diamond industry has ever had to cope with, but diamantaires’ “mature and responsible” course of action proved that the sector can overcome even the most difficult times, newly re-elected World Federation of Diamond Bourses President Avi Paz said this month.
Paz, who was voted in unanimously for another term as head of the WFDB, spoke at a WFDB meeting during the 34th World Diamond Congress in Moscow. The World Diamond Congress is a biennial event that brings diamond industry leaders together to address the major issues facing the diamond trade.
Despite the economic hardship of the last 18 months, Paz told the congress participants, there was reason for optimism. Paz pointed to the cooperation and mutual concern exhibited by WFDB members, and thanked all the presidents of the WFDB-affiliated bourses and industry leaders.
“One says that the strength of an individual or an organization is tested at difficult times – in that sense one can proudly say that we have all passed the test with success,” Paz declared.
Paz added that member diamond bourses should continue their admirable conduct in the future. He exhorted congress attendees not to forget the lessons of the recession, “because they are the foundations of our recovery and future.”
Paz also had warm words of praise for the “devoted work” of the WFDB’s executive. The president extended special thanks to WFDB honorary presidents Shmuel Schnitzer, Eli Izakoff and Ernie Blom. He also thanked the diamond industry’s other major organizations for their cooperation, and said that by working together, the diamond trade had strengthened its ties with governments, banks, and mining companies.
Continuing to address the issue of cooperation, Paz touched on the subject of the Asian Presidents Meeting held last year in Hong Kong. Since it was such a success, Paz said, he had decided to make it an annual event, with the next meeting scheduled for September 13, 2010.
Paz said he had invited not only the presidents of Asian diamond bourses, but major diamond diamantaires from Asian nations that have no organized bourses, such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia.
According to Paz, these countries’ involvement in the congress might provide an incentive for them to establish formal diamond bourses, a development that the WFDB would welcome.
“The development of new markets and the opening of new exchanges all over the world is such an important issue for our stability and prosperity… In the era of the global village we have lots to gain from having more and more markets and exchanges all over the globe,” Paz urged.
Paz thanked the president of the Bangkok Diamond Exchange for hosting the Asian Presidents Meeting, and concluded his speech to the congress by encouraging attendees to “brainstorm” ideas for the future.
“Together we should think about the challenges and turn them into opportunities… Together we should shape [our federation’s] strategy for the future,” he told everyone.