The following article has been published courtesy of Israeli Diamond Industry Portal
Joining Minister Ben-Eliezer at the meeting were Knesset Member Anastasia Michaeli, Israeli Ambassador to Russia Anna Azari, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor Director-General Sharon Kedmi, President of the Manufacturers Association of Israel Shraga Brosh, Diamond Controller Shmuel Mordechai, and Boaz Hirsch, Director-General for Foreign Trade at the ministry, who also serves as Chairman of the Kimberley Process.
Also attending were Israel Diamond Exchange President Avi Paz, who was joined by IDE Vice President Yair Sahar, IDE Managing Director Yair Cohen and IDE members Shalom Papir and Yosef Papo; and David De Toledo, Deputy President of the Diamond Manufacturers Association, joined by DMA Honorary President Shlomo Yovel and DME CEO Udi Sheintal.
According to a ministry press release, Minister Ben-Eliezer referred to the Israeli diamond industry as “an export engine” and a major contributor to Israel’s economy.
Minister Ben-Eliezer asked Alrosa’s delegates to establish a direct supply line of rough diamonds to the Israeli diamond industry, amounting to $300 million a year and the diamond giant reportedly agreed in principle.
The ministry’s press release noted that the Israeli diamond industry’s trade amounts to about $10 billion in exports annually, and $4.5 billion in rough diamond imports.
Alrosa keeps a sales office at the Israel Diamond Exchange, which will continue to head its Israeli operations.
Paz and De Toledo both welcomed the decision, stressing the Israeli diamond industry’s production and trading fortes. The two then reviewed the diamond industry and the Diamond Exchange’s activities.
“The direct supply of rough diamonds to Israel will bolster the Israeli industry’s standing as a world production center, as well as a trading center,” said IDE Managing Director Yair Cohen. “It will also increase Israeli diamantaires’ financial ability to polish diamonds, thus increasing Israel’s worldwide trading activity.”
Minister Ben-Eliezer invited Alrosa and Gokhran’s presidents to visit Israel.
Alrosa is Russia’s biggest diamond producer and exports some $2 billion worth of diamonds a year.