The Istanbul bourse hosted the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) presidents meeting, for three consecutive days and with 26 international bourses, Ministerial representation including South Africa’s Minister of Minerals, Susan Shabangu, and high-level delegations from Botswana and Zimbabwe, attending. The World Diamond Council was represented by its president, Eli Izhahoff, and CIBJO was represented by its president Gaetano Cavalieri. There were over 100 people from across the world attending and open sessions were well attended by the local diamond and jewelry representatives from Turkey.
The meeting concluded on June 18, following very constructive discussions. The meeting addressed diamond and jewelry taxation, which varies by country, and developing markets. Chaim Even‐Zohar, an industry speaker from Israel, led two presentations, one on taxation and the second provided an overview of the banking sector in context to the diamond industry. These presentations although caught interest but were also with controversy.
A number of new WFDB committees were confirmed during the Istanbul meeting, with the intention of increasing organizational effectiveness and leveling the management hierarchy in an effort to improve response time to its members.
WFDB created committees including: International Arbitration Committee, FATF Committee, Lab & Technical Committee, Publicity Committee, World Diamond Mark Committee and the Membership Committee, which will all work with the Finance Committee, the Trade and Promotions Committee and the Judicial Committee, and all of these bodies will report to the WFDB executive.
Canada and South Korea both intended applying for WFDB membership, with the South Korean delegation holding its presentation during the event. Another highlight involved signing necessary documents to proceed with the registration of the World Diamond Mark Foundation, thus allowing the Mark Committee to proceed with arrangements and funding. Members also address developing better channels of communication, including the use of new media. WFDB’s president, Ernie Blom, said, ”During our meetings in Istanbul we consolidated our position as the world’s leading diamond organization, representing the full value chain from mine to finger. This was further consolidated with the historic agreement signed in Istanbul between the WFDB and CIBJO to work together to enhance and develop the diamond and jewelry industry.”