India poised to become centre for rough diamond trading? – by Melvyn Reggie Thomas (Times of India – October 18, 2016)

SURAT: Will the Special Notified Zone (SNZ) become the centre for rough diamond trading? It seems so, after the Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Narendra Modi discussed about strengthening bilateral diamond trade at the recently concluded BRICS summit in Goa.

Both India and Russia welcomed initiatives to promote direct trade in diamonds between the two countries and gave positive evaluation of the work of the SNZ at the Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB) in Mumbai during the summit after noting active support of this project from Russian diamond company, ALROSA.

India is the world’s largest diamond cutting and polishing centre and one of ALROSA’s key trade partners. In 2015, companies with Indian capital purchased ALROSA’s rough diamonds for the total of US$ 1.5 billion, including US$ 575 million direct supplies to India.

Russia noted the latest increase in the number of Indian resident companies signing long-term rough diamonds supply contracts with Alrosa, and emphasized the importance of further development of mechanisms and terms of work in the SNZ with the aim of strengthening bilateral diamond trade.

Industry sources said that the Russian diamond mining company, Alrosa has increased its Indian diamond clients in the last couple of years. Russia is the world’s top producer of rough diamonds with annual exports to the tune of over $4.5 billion. But the direct selling of rough diamonds from Russian mines to India is less. Most of the diamonds come through diamond hubs such as Antwerp and Dubai.

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