Russia's Deputy Prime Minister and Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District Yury Trutnev believes there is demand for a diamond exchange trading floor in Vladivostok in the country's Far East and that it can be opened this year. Rough & Polished cited comments from Trutnev in the Vedomosti daily newspaper: "China is now the second-largest consumer of diamonds in the world. Japan is a major consumer. The U.S. can also be attributed to the Asia-Pacific region. The market is very large. We have to try this area." Russia is now selling unpolished diamonds and had to develop cutting and polishing diamonds and jewelry making, he said, commenting that "we are just selling them [rough stones] like cobblestones, losing money even in the course of such sales. We must move towards increasing the added value."
"To start, you need a trading floor, you need to train people, to create a market, to ensure that we are visited by customers. And then we must look at the issue of diamond cutting. When we [previously mentioned] the word 'cutting', the reaction was very nervous. We were immediately told that it is impossible and cannot be done. I do not completely understand, why we cannot do this. It does not sound very nice, but right now our neighbors have no advantage in terms of labor cost. We have always had excellent craftsmen and artists. Therefore, there is no doubt that we shall cope. We just need to start," Trutnev said.
"Currently, we have a big problem in regulating the turnover of diamonds and precious metals. To create the diamond exchange, we will do without large changes in the laws. But if we want to develop diamond cutting and jewelry manufacturing further, we shall have to grapple with our requirements for the transportation and storage of precious metals and stones. The regulation in this part is quite cumbersome," he said.