Professional Jeweler Archive: Israel Plans Big Future

April 2005

News | Diamonds

Israel Plans Big Future

Sets sights on becoming global leader

Within three years, Israel will be the world’s leading center for diamond trade and a major manufacturing center, say leaders.

“Two-thousand-and-four was a record-breaking year for the Israel diamond industry, both in polished and rough exports and in rough imports to Israel,” says Shmuel Schnitzer, president of the Israel Diamond Exchange. Industry growth in Israel resulted from investments in marketing, development of sources of rough, research and development, and cooperation with the government, he says. “Israel’s position as a world diamond trading center was greatly strengthened,” he says. “This was clearly shown by a 25% rise in the number of buyers visiting Israel, as well as the unprecedented trade figures.”

The Israeli industry faced several challenges, says Simcha Lustig, chairman of the Israel Diamond Institute. These include finding new sources of rough and competing with diamond centers with labor cost, tax and/or regulatory advantages.

Plans for 2005

The Israel Diamond Manufacturers Association will focus on diversifying rough sources, marketing and branding Israeli diamonds, adapting government aid to industry needs, and conducting research and development to create a manufacturing facility based on robotics that will significantly reduce local production costs, says Moti Ganz, IDMA president.

In 2005, IDI plans eight exhibitions and trade missions and will open a New York City office to help Israeli diamond exporters there, says Schnitzer.

Lustig reports on the development of an Israeli invention protected by a worldwide patent that’s expected to reduce manufacturing costs. He says it will be completed by the end of 2005 and will be used exclusively in Israel. “In addition, we have developed a stabilizer for polishing wheels which will enable more precise polishing and a reduction in rough diamond loss,” he says.

In 2004, the portal was launched. “The site enables diamond buyers to search for suppliers by the type of stones, says Lustig. “It already boasts 30,000 entries a month,” he says.

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