Diamond bourses in Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have signed a cooperation deal following the recent peace accord between the two Middle East countries.
The Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) will open a representative office in Dubai, while the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) will establish an office Ramat Gan, the organizations said Thursday following a virtual ceremony. The two nations’ diamond sectors will also work together to promote trading, and agreed to organize an Israel-Dubai diamond fair.
“Through the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB), we have come to know and value the leaders of the Dubai diamond industry,” said Yoram Dvash, president of the IDE and the WFDB. “The agreement will enable us to build on these relationships to the benefit of the members of our respective bourses.”
On August 13, Israel and the UAE agreed to normalize relations and cooperate on trade. While diamond executives had quietly been traveling between the two nations for some time, the peace treaty enabled formal business ties.
Image: The Israel Diamond Exchange and executives at the opening of the redesigned
The Israel and Dubai diamond exchanges have signed an agreement to promote cooperation in a deal certain to boost direct trade between the Middle East’s main diamond hubs.
The agreement was announced on Thursday two days after Israel and the United Arab Emirates signed an historic agreement to normalize ties and marks a further development in economic collaboration.
The diamond deal, finalised in a video conference ceremony, was welcome news for an industry hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic and overall weaker global demand.
As part of the agreement, the Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) will open an office in Dubai and the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) will open one in Ramat Gan, home to the Israeli exchange.
The two parties said they will share experience and knowledge, work to promote bilateral trade and collaborate on exhibitions, visits and conferences. They also agreed to arrange an Israeli-Dubai diamond fair to be held in Dubai and Ramat Gan and to promote electronic trade.
Israel is one of the leading exporters of polished diamonds. IDE President Yoram Dvash said that Dubai, with its free zone and convenient business conditions, has become one of the most important diamond centers in the world.
The Dubai Diamond Exchange is part of the government-owned DMCC. The total value of rough and polished diamonds traded in Dubai last year exceeded $23 billion, the DMCC said.
“This agreement will attract businesses to the emirate as well as boost the regional and international trade of this precious stone,” said Ahmed Bin Sulayem, executive chairman of the DMCC and chairman of the Dubai Diamond Exchange.
Israel’s diamond exports fell 28% in 2019 to $4.9 billion.
Reporting by Tova Cohen and Ari Rabinovitch
Zimbabwe’s state owned Minerals Marketing Corporation opened a 316,000 carat diamond auction, which will close at the end of the week an official said.
“This is the third auction we have conducted this year as there were some administrative issues which were taking place within the organization,” MMCZ’s General Manager Tongai Muzenda said by phone on Wednesday. The last auction was held in July.
The auction, which began on Sept. 9 and will close on Sept. 13, has attracted buying interest from Belgium, Dubai, India, Israel and South Africa, but Muzenda declined to name the companies bidding, citing confidentiality.
Zimbabwe expects to produce 4.1 million carats of diamonds this year, up from 2.8 carats in 2018. At the peak of production in 2012, the southern African country’s output was 12 million carats.
An anti corruption group alleges it has evidence linking Zimbabwe’s ruling elite to a decade of disappearing diamond wealth. Top security and political leaders steeling and profiting from Zimbabwe’s diamond reserves.
London based Global Witness report published on Monday, accuses Zimbabwe’s Central Intelligence Organisation spy agency of concealing a stake in Kusena Diamonds in the Marange diamond fields in eastern Zimbabwe.Diamonds produced by the CIO linked company are traded in Dubai and Antwerp two of the world’s leading marketplaces and have funded political repression.
Zimbabwean military, and the government itself with the Companies have concealed their finances and shielded their operations from public scrutiny.
Zimbabwean officials had no immediate comment.