- November 10, 2008:
Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) will host the first Middle East-India Diamond and Jewellery Summit next year as part of forging successful partnerships to sustain growth in the industry, and make use of the opportunities in the emerging markets of the world.
The two-day forum will be held at the Atlantis hotel, Palm Jumeirah from November 2 to 3, 2009, as announced yesterday by Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman of DMCC, at the concluding session of the first Middle East-China Diamond & Jewellery Summit in Dubai.
Bin Sulayem said the annual summits will contribute to enhancing trade relations between Middle East and the fastest growing economies in Asia. “The barriers of time and geography have long been broken. We need to accept this reality and embrace change. At DMCC, we truly believe that the future lies in developing enduring partnerships that will enable countries and companies to work together for mutual growth.”
Meanwhile, speakers at the two-day Middle East-China Diamond and Jewellery Summit observed that the Middle East and China, with their sound economic fundamentals and increasing engagement, will lead the global diamond trade in the new millennium. Retailers and traders from both markets need to focus on synergies and rational approaches in making use of unfolding opportunities, they added.
The summit also provided prominent retailers from China and the Middle East a platform to share their insights and discuss strategies to build on positives like the liberalisation of trade in China, the growing youth power and high purchasing power in the Middle East as well as the organised and fast expanding retail sector in both the regions.
The Middle East is the fourth largest consumer market for diamond jewellery after USA, Japan and Europe while China takes the fifth place. Speakers also underlined the relevance of new and emerging markets in sustaining diamond trade especially in the backdrop of the global financial crisis.
“Global diamond trade was worth US$70 billion in 2007 but to sustain the business, two million new customers will be needed every year. China, with market growth for 2008 estimated at 14.5 per cent, and the Middle East, where growth is projected at 10 per cent, hold a lot of promise in this context,” said Varda Shine, Managing Director, Diamond Trading Company.
Tawhid Abdullah, CEO of Damas, said that the new attention given to the youth population by retailers in the Middle East is a welcome trend. “Over 62 per cent of the Middle East population is below the age of 35, but it’s only recently that they have started getting due attention from the jewellery trade. This segment of the population is becoming increasingly affluent and they can positively impact jewellery trade growth in the region.”
Retailers from China briefed the delegates on the ongoing retail revolution in the country, and the outcomes of the economic liberalisation initiated by the country 30 years ago. “Trade has become organised and a large number of retail store chains are being opened in the country. The jewellery market especially has benefited from hallmarking and increasing brand awareness among people,” said Kent Wong, General Manager-PRC, Chow Tai Fook Jewellery.
Financial experts remarked that despite the global economic slowdown, static supply and dwindling resources would ensure robust demand and healthy prices for diamond and diamond jewellery. “No new reserves have been spotted since Canada started mining diamond in 1990. There is a possibility that ours could be the last generation that can purchase newly mined diamonds,” Chaim Even Zohar, Editor-in-Chief of Diamond Intelligence briefs told the audience.
Paul Goris, Managing Director, Antwerp Diamond Bank (ADB) Group called on the entire diamond value chain to adhere to responsible behaviour and exercise due intelligence in order to avoid any recessionary impact on the trade. ADB is keen to support the emerging markets with its wealth of business intelligence and the bank is currently exploring partnerships with corporate finance institutions in the UAE to support the local diamond trade,” he said.
DMCC organised the Middle East-China Diamond & Jewellery Summit as part of consolidating Dubai’s status as the gateway to the emerging markets worldwide and turning the spotlight on the Middle East and China, which are projected to be the diamond and jewellery markets of the 21st century.
Hundreds leading international retailers and traders from the diamond industry attended the event held at the Atlantis Hotel, Plam Jumeirah. The summit also honoured leading retailers and traders with Lifetime Achievement Awards for their contributions to transforming China and the Middle East into major diamond trading hubs.