India’s Surat Diamond Bourse: A Game-Changing Hub for Global Diamond Trade

Posted by Written by Naina Bhardwaj Reading Time: 4 minutes

On December 17, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the Surat Diamond Bourse in the Gujarat state of India, a premier hub for the diamond and jewelry trade, signaling a noteworthy achievement in the industry. Positioned as a leading center for both rough and polished diamonds, this avant-garde facility boasts key features aimed at streamlining operations.

In a significant milestone, Prime Minister Narendra Modi officially inaugurated the Surat Diamond Bourse in the Gujarat state of India, a state-of-the-art global center for the international diamond and jewelry trade. Positioned as a premier hub for trading both rough and polished diamonds and jewelry, the bourse features key facilities like a Customs Clearance House for Import-Export, a retail jewelry mall, international banking services, and secure vaults.

Although the diamond-cutting industry is believed to have originated in Gujarat only in the late 1930s, it was not until the 1970s that it truly began to scale up, according to a recent report in The New Indian Express. The paper notes that by the time the 2008 global financial crisis struck, the Indian diamond processing industry, centered around Surat, was responsible for handling nearly 85 percent of the world’s processed diamonds, and at much lower costs than other key bases like China and Israel.

Various challenges confront the industry today from inflation playing spoiler in key buyer markets like the United States and rising global consumption of lab-grown diamonds. Also, the G7 countries have placed a ban on Russian diamonds from 2024. Per reporting in the Times of India, 30 percent of global rough diamonds, by value, comes to India for polishing. Russian rough diamond exports amount to about US$4 billion.

Over 40 percent of India’s export of cut and polished diamonds (CPD) head to the G7 countries, while Belgium accounts for over nine percent.

The G7 countries have imposed a direct ban on Russian diamonds from January 1, 2024, and an indirect ban on polished diamonds from March 1, 2024. Industry watchers expect traceability-mechanisms to come in place by September next year. Formalizing the diamond industry, organizing the CPD stakeholders in a single cluster with advanced facilities, and monitoring for risks related to global trade and sanctions will be key for Surat’s economy. In that context, unveiling the Surat Diamond Bourse may be a good move. – Melissa Cyrill, Asia Briefing

What distinguishes the Surat Diamond Bourse from other trading centers?

Discovering Gujarat's Investment Potential - Policies, Hubs, IndustriesStanding as the world’s largest office complex, surpassing even the massive US defense headquarters—the Pentagon—the Surat Diamond Bourse aims to consolidate and centralize various aspects of the diamond industry. It seeks to streamline operations within its expansive confines, promoting efficiency and synergy.

By bringing together industry leaders, skilled artisans, and cutting-edge technology under one roof, the bourse fosters an environment conducive to innovation and collaboration. This bodes well for the future of India’s diamond industry, propelling it towards new frontiers of design, technology, and sustainable practices.

The key features of the Surat Diamond Bourse are:

  • Vast infrastructure with diverse office spaces: The key features of this ground-breaking establishment include its construction within a vast 6.6 million square foot area at DREAM (Diamond Research and Mercantile) City, constituting a sprawling township spanning nearly 700 acres. With nine interconnected towers, each rising to the ground plus 15 floors, the bourse accommodates approximately 4,500 offices ranging from 300 to 7,500 square feet.
  • Strategic location: Positioned in Khajod village near Surat city, the new bourse embodies India’s entrepreneurial spirit. Surat processes over 90 percent of the world’s diamonds, which are then traded in Mumbai. The new bourse seeks to shift this paradigm by consolidating operations in Surat itself.
  • One-stop shop: From rough and polished diamonds to cutting-edge machinery, certification labs, and high-end retail outlets, the bourse offers a comprehensive ecosystem for all aspects of the diamond trade. Imagine a bustling diamond city buzzing with activity, catering to every need of international and domestic buyers.
  • Retail outlets: The bourse hosts 27 retail outlets catering to global and domestic buyers seeking exquisite diamond jewelry.

How will the Surat Diamond Bourse impact global diamond industry players?

The Surat Diamond Bourse is poised to revolutionize the Indian diamond trade. By consolidating operations and providing a world-class infrastructure, it aims to:

  • Attract global players: The bourse’s comprehensive facilities and strategic location are expected to attract major international players, boosting foreign investment and trade.
  • Create new jobs: The project is estimated to generate over 150,000 new jobs, providing significant employment opportunities for Surat’s skilled workforce.
  • Boost exports: With streamlined operations and reduced costs, the bourse is expected to significantly increase India’s diamond exports, further solidifying its position as a global leader.

India’s diamond industry plays a crucial role in the global market, processing over 90 percent of the world’s rough diamonds and contributing US$23 billion to the world’s diamond exports annually.

The Surat Diamond Bourse will offer global buyers:

  • Greater access – as the bourse provides a one-stop shop for all diamond needs, simplifying sourcing and procurement processes.
  • Enhanced transparency – as the centralized infrastructure and stringent regulations ensure fair trade practices and ethical sourcing.
  • Unmatched diversity – as a wide range of rough and polished diamonds, along with cutting-edge technology and expertise, provides buyers unparalleled choice and flexibility.

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