The 2011 Presidents’ Meeting of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses, held in Dubai for the first time, served to highlight the UAE’s flourishing diamond trade, which WFDB President Avi Paz called a “fast-growing diamond trading center and distribution hub.”
At the opening session, Governor of the Central Bank of the UAE Sultan bin Nasser al Suwaidi offered an overview of how the UAE had handled the global economic crisis. Diamond industry analyst Chaim Even Zohar discussed the past, present, and projected supply pipeline for both rough and polished diamonds.
Paz took the opportunity of the first working session to congratulate Mr. Osman Sarac on the recent launch of the Istanbul Diamond Exchange, which he called a “very positive development for the industry.”
This year’s Presidents’ Meeting also hosted the first-ever African Leaders Summit, a special forum in which mining and government officials from Africa’s key diamond producing nations took part. Participants in the African Leaders Summit included the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Martin Kabwelulu Labilo; Susan Shabangu from South Africa and Angola’s Joaquim Duarte da Costa David – as well as a delegation from Zimbabwe headed by Mines and Mining Development Minister Obert Mpofu.
Paz, speaking at the summit, said it marked “the beginning of a new era” and stressed that the WFDB should use the summit platform to “send the world a message that we are totally committed to protecting and guarding the ethical standards on which our industry is founded.”