The World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) and the Korea Diamond Exchange (KDE) have signed a cooperation agreement to help with the development of the young bourse in South Korea. Signed on February 6, 2019, the agreement entails that the WFDB will assist with the promotion of the diamond business in South Korea, and will provide assistance to the KDE in lobbying the Korean government in matters that can enhance the diamond business.
The WFDB's president Ernie Blom and KDE chairman Nam Chang-Soo will cooperate in growing the Korean diamond industry, and hope to achieve the same type of success realized through the WFDB's work with the Shanghai Diamond Exchange. Mr Blom and Mr Nam will discuss the overall diamond business and related issues on an ongoing basis, the bourses said in a statement. Ernie Blom commented: "The WFDB will always seek to help any bourse that needs its assistance. The WFDB exists to help its members in many ways, and this is an example of how we can do this."
Last week, the South Korean government, following years of negotiations with the KDE, agreed to abolish the special 26% Individual Consumption Tax (ICT) on imports of loose polished diamonds exceding KRW 5,000,000 ($4,460), leaving in place only the simplified rate of 5% import tax and 10% VAT which already applied to all imports. KDE president Nam Chang-Soo said, "We hope that the abolition of the tax will have a very positive effect on diamond jewelry sales in South Korea." He added, He added, "Together with the WFDB, we aim to build better business practices and to show diamonds in a more positive way to consumers in South Korea."