Eurasian Diamond Centre in Vladivostok Opened at Eastern Economic Forum

Finance and Trade
06/09/2016 09:09

The major news for the diamond industry emerging from last week's Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) in Vladivostok was the opening of the Eurasian Diamond Centre in Free Port Vladivostok. The new diamond centre, a project developed by Russian mining company ALROSA, is an infrastructure cluster that will provide a platform for international trade and processing of precious stones. The complex is expected to include diamond mining companies, gem diamond and jewelry manufacturers, rough diamond traders, gem laboratories, banks, insurance companies, transport companies, as well as related government structures such as federal customs. The aim of the diamond centre in Russia’s far east is to attract trading and manufacturing companies, and boost gem sales to Asian countries including China, the second-biggest buyer.

About $1bn of business is anticipated go through the Eurasian Diamond Center in 2018, when more than 100 firms involved in mining to polishing are expected to be part of it, according to ALROSA’s presentation for the opening on Friday. The Vladivostok-based hub will focus on similar services to the leading manufacturing and trading centres in Mumbai and Antwerp, Belgium. ALROSA President Andrei Zharkov has reportedly confirmed that a US$25 million contract has already been reached with the first partner, a Hong Kong-based company KGK Group - a wholesale distributor of gems whose global diamond operations are based in Antwerp. The project is being backed by the Russian government, the major shareholder in Alrosa, which mines more stones than any other company.

Yury Trutnev, Deputy Prime Minister of Russia and Presidential Envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District, stressed the need for Russia to develop local skills in diamond trading, cutting and manufacturing and producing jewelry, to create more jobs and advance the development of Russia and the Far East. Trutnev also reportedly stressed that the new Eurasian Diamond Centre was the result of the government's initiative, noting that,  "The problem of diamond processing should not be put on to the company alone; it requires government support. I am sure we will find the right form of cooperation," he added, as quoted by the EEF. The location of the Eurasian Diamond Centre at Free Port Vladivostok is close to the location of Russia's domestic diamond production areas, and located near key diamond buyers from the Asia Pacific Region, especially China and Hong Kong. "Our goal is at least to double or even triple sales to these countries," Zharkov stated, as quoted by EEF.