India Establishes World’s Largest Diamond Trading Exchange

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Oct. 18 – The world’s largest diamond exchange opened in Mumbai’s Bandra Kurla business district on Sunday.

The Bharat Diamond Bourse was designed by local architect Balakrishna Doshi and covers 20 acres with nine interlinked nine-story towers. It was constructed at a cost of over US$200 million.

The bourse effectively changes the future of the global diamond industry and moves India from a manufacturing and processing center to a trading hub set to challenge the dominance of traditional centers such as Belgium and Israel.

Eleven out every 12 of the world’s diamonds are cut, polished and processed in India. The BDB will help to make India an international trading center for gems and jewelry and take the step towards creating a Brand India in the world of diamonds.

“The objective is to establish necessary infrastructure facilities for the promotion of diamonds,” said Bourse president Anoop Mehta.

India’s diamond processing industry accounts for 70 percent to 75 percent of total diamond exports and employs 850,000 people, making it the largest cutting center by value and number of employees.

“All top 400 exporters are over here (at the bourse), which accounts for 90 percent of the turnover,” said Mehta.

Incorporated in 1984 with a group of diamond exporters in the city, the exchange expects the turnover to rise by 10 percent to 15 percent annually the next five years. Its current torunover is US$22-28 billion and that should increase substantially through higher participation from diamond traders across the globe. “We expect diamond traders from Israel and Belgium to start trading here.”

The diamond industry is one of the fastest growing in the world and India currently leads in every aspect of the trade: manufacturing, maximum carats being exported and volume.

The BDB will now afford it the best equipped infrastructure in the world, said Mehta. With state-of-the-art facilities and security, the company will have an inflow of over 20,000-27,000 people a day when it is fully operational in the next few months. Mumbai’s diamond trade, currently conducted out of three buildings in the Panchratna neighborhood in south Mumbai, will move to the new location by December.