Last week, a delegation of leading jewelers and diamond traders from across Europe spent three days getting acquainted with their counterparts in Antwerp, enjoying a behind-the-scenes look at the diamond capital and doing business at high-level networking events. This visit took place in the framework of a new initiative by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre, "Antwerp Diamond Experience", intended to bring groups of jewelers, wholesalers and manufacturers from major and upcoming diamond markets into direct contact with Antwerp diamantaires, give them inside access to the world's leading diamond trade center and establish new supplier relationships so they can expand the scope of their business.
The European delegation consisted of 24 companies from nine different countries, including a group associated with the National Association of Jewellers from Great Britain, as well as five members of the Cyprus Jewellers Association. The visitors arrived from more traditional markets such as Italy, France and Spain, but also from Poland, Estonia, Croatia and the Czech Republic. The delegation was treated to a reception and dinner at the Happaert House, a 16th-century cultural-historical monument, but the real business took place during the networking events with Antwerp dealers. The European delegation was clearly enthusiastic about this initiative. "I feel very lucky to have been taken to such impressive places," commented Sarah Streatfield from Alex Monroe (UK). "I made some contacts I think will be very useful to us and gained some great knowledge about Antwerp and diamonds, which is invaluable. I was also very pleased to have met such a wonderful range of jewellers and designers from all over Europe." Michal Krzywiak from E-Diamenty in Poland, said, "It was a great pleasure to visit Antwerp, see the industry from the inside and meet all these fantastic people. The organization was top level."
Most recently, the 'Diamond Experience' welcomed to the Antwerp diamond industry a group from Japan, and later this month will be hosting a group from the Middle East, to be followed by visits from South Korea and China later this year. The AWDC hopes, in this way, to make the Antwerp market more accessible to companies of all sizes, and is expecting its visitors will spread the word about the ease and efficiency of doing business in the diamond capital.