China Becomes Member of the WFDB

December 4, 2003

China Becomes Member of the WFDB

A high-level delegation of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses visited China in November where it formally inducted the Shanghai Diamond Exchange as a member of the federation. China is in the process of establishing a diamond bourse in Shanghai. It is mainland China's first membership in the WFDB.

November marked the third anniversary of Shanghai's exchange, which is expected to quickly become a premier market for the gem. Not only is China moving rapidly in establishing cutting and jewelry manufacturing centers, it's projected to become a major consumer of the gem, perhaps the second largest, after the U.S.

WFDB President Shmuel Schnitzer says much work remains to equalize the playing field in China. Among the factors requiring change is the removal of trade barriers. "Procedures involving value-added taxes on platinum imports were relaxed earlier this year. The implementation of similar procedures for diamonds would encourage import of goods into the country, and help meet the increasing demand for polished goods in the local marketplace," says Schnitzer. "We presented our hosts with various income tax models that are applicable to companies and individuals involved in the diamond business, including income tax models that are used in various diamond centers in the West."

WFDB representatives also talked with their Chinese counterparts about how to broaden the average Chinese consumer's knowledge of polished diamonds. Presently, a narrow range of H-J colors and clarities of VVS or higher are sold in Chinese diamond jewelry. "It is clear that diamond manufacturers, manufacturers, dealers and wholesalers and jewelry manufacturers, as well as the consumers themselves are missing out on a huge range of goods," Schnitzer says.

by Robert Weldon, G.G.

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