Diamond Leader Predicts Israel's Recovery

February 4, 1999

Diamond Leader Predicts Israel's Recovery

Israel will emerge "strengthened" from the world economic crisis that is crunching diamond exports, says Shmuel Schnitzer, the recently elected president of the Israel Diamond Exchange in Ramat Gan.

Polished diamond exports from Israel were $3.63 billion in 1998, down 11% compared to the previous year. However, exports to the U.S., the largest market for Israeli polished goods, were up 7.6% to $2.214 billion last year compared to 1997. IDE says overall sales were better than expected considering exports to Hong Kong and Japan, Israel's second and third largest export markets, fell 50% and 34% respectively between 1997 and 1998.

"Because of the world economic crisis, the cards have been reshuffled," says Schnitzer in a release. "The Israeli industry demonstrated extraordinary flexibility by concentrating its focus on the United States – our No. 1 and the world's most dynamic diamond market."

- by Stacey King