The global diamond industry is no longer dominated by Western countries but has become a global community of producers, cutters, polishers, retailers and regulators, Dubai Multi Commodities Centre executive chairman Ahmed Bin Sulayem has said.
Delivering the keynote address of the Dubai Diamond Conference 2013, he said in order to ensure the collective voices of Russia, Dubai, India, China and Africa are heard, global institutions such as the World Diamond Council need to be helmed by leaders who recognise the issues facing these countries.
Other notable speakers at the first day of the conference included Vipul Shah, Chairman of the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council.
"The focus of rough trading is moving to Africa, with African nations increasingly taking control of their mineral resources distribution.
"The bulk of the industry's diamond manufacturing, on the other hand, has long since moved to India, China and other Asian countries.
"Dubai is ideally positioned, geographically and operationally to serve a pivotal role in this ever-changing landscape. "We are truly at the centre of the 'New Silk Road' and will bring it to its full potential," Ahmed bin Sulayem said.
Varda Shine, CEO of the Diamond Trading Company, De Beers Group, said: "With Southern Africa becoming a global rough diamond trading hub, there will be tremendous opportunities for players in the diamond supply pipeline.
"As such, the development of new trade routes is likely to continue, as increased demand from Asian markets is expected. Dubai has shown remarkable resilience in grasping these opportunities."