In the midst of a five-day Belgian State visit to India, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) – umbrella organization for the Antwerp diamond industry – joined hands with its Indian counterpart, the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), to host a roundtable discussion today in Mumbai concerning the contributions of the diamond industry to social and economic development.
Managing director of CIFAL Flanders, Peter Wollaert, moderated this a roundtable discussion on impact of diamond business on the Sustainable Development Goals using best practices and challenges.
Peter Wollaert introduced Agenda 2030 and the SDGs and presented the outcomes of the CIFAL research on CSR and sustainability in the Anwterp Diamond Sector.
This roundtable included high-ranking members of the Antwerp and Indian diamond communities, Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Affairs Didier Reynders and Indian Minister of Commerce and Industry Shri Suresh Prabhu, while the official portion of the event took place in the presence His Majesty King Philippe of the Belgians.
Antwerp is the most important global trade center for diamonds; currently 84% of all rough diamonds and 50% of all polished diamonds are traded in Antwerp, and in 2016, this amounted to $48 billion. Trade relations between Belgium and India have always been excellent, and diamonds play a very significant role in this regard. Antwerp exports an enormous amount of rough diamonds to India, which is the most important diamond cutting and polishing center in the world. The diamonds polished in India are then often sold again in Antwerp, which generates a natural interaction between the two centers. Some 95% of all Belgian diamond exports to India is rough diamonds, which represents a 69% share of all Belgian exports of rough diamonds, making the stones the most important export product from Belgium to India by a wide margin.