The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), the coordinating federation for the Antwerp diamond industry, is joining forces with Ars Nobilis, the umbrella organization for the Belgian jewelry sector, in an effort to streamline the Antwerp diamond trade with jewelry manufacturers and retailers in Belgium. The two representative bodies yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding stating that the members of Ars Nobilis will be able to call upon the services of the AWDC regarding legal advice, training, public relations and communication, advocacy and security. The AWDC and Ars Nobilis agreed to work together to support and defend the interests of all diamond traders and jewelers in Belgium.
By means of this collaboration, the AWDC says it will increase its sphere of influence by not only working B2B in Antwerp with international players, but also B2C, extending its professional reach across the entire country - which to this point it has only done implicitly. Given that the two sectors are closely related, the AWDC says it is only logical that the organizations join forces. As Ari Epstein, CEO AWDC explains, "Diamond is the one of the world's pre-eminent luxury products, which implies that the diamond trade is impacted not only by the larger movements in the global economy, but also by empirical trends at the retail level. Working together with jewelers is the ideal way for a wholesale trade center to keep its finger on the pulse of consumers."
"In this way," Epstein adds, "Antwerp will join those diamond trade centers that represent the jewelry sector in addition to the diamond industry. Given Ars Nobilis' B2C experience and AWDC's B2B expertise, we can cover the entire diamond supply chain and better defend the interests of our stakeholders and broader community. This collaboration will also enable the AWDC to increase its significance and presence in the international jewelry sector." Jan Orye, Chairman Ars Nobilis, commented, "Globalization has made it necessary for jewelers, designers, creators and watchmakers to work in an entirely different way than twenty years ago. The internet, fast home delivery and low-cost travel have changed the way that people spend their money, including on luxury products such as jewelry." Orye says it is high time for Belgium's jewelers to tap into the vast reach of the AWDC and take advantage of their consolidated expertise, which he believes will generate new opportunities and efficiencies for Ars Nobilis' 250 members.