The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), the umbrella organization for the Antwerp diamond industry, from 16 to 20 February 2019 participated in the Belgian Economic Mission to Mexico. Currently, Mexico mainly imports polished diamonds from the United States. The AWDC therefore viewed this Economic Mission as the ideal opportunity to promote the Antwerp diamond trade in Mexico and to ensure that Mexican diamond traders increase their diamond purchases directly from Antwerp.
Antwerp has long been the most important diamond trade center in the world - currently, 86% of all rough diamonds and 50% of all polished diamonds pass through Antwerp at some time on their journey from mine to finger. While Mexico imports about $100 million worth of loose polished diamonds annually, Belgium’s market share is currently not very significant. The U.S. is the largest supplier of diamonds to Mexico, but many Antwerp diamonds reach the Mexican market only after a detour through the U.S. It is therefore high time to promote the Antwerp diamond trade in Mexico and stimulate direct trade, the AWDC states.
“Mexico is an interesting market for the Antwerp diamond trade,” says Ari Epstein, CEO of the AWDC. “It has no import tax for polished diamonds and, in principle, there are no trade barriers to importing loose diamonds directly from Antwerp. Still, most of Mexico’s diamond trade runs via the U.S. This is why we are organizing an informative Antwerp Diamond Power Session during the Mission to promote direct trade with Antwerp.” The mission was presided over by HRH Princess Astrid of Belgium, spearheaded by Belgium's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Employment Kris Peeters (pictured), with the support of Flanders Investment and Trade. The AWDC partnered with Mr. Jesus Ramon Parra Pedroza, President of the Camara de Joyeria, Jalisco -- the Jalisco Chamber of Jewelry.
Mexico’s economy is the second largest in Latin America. Mexico is a member of the G20 and the fifteenth most important global economy with a GDP of $1,077 billion (compared to $468 billion in Belgium). The Mexican jewelry market is doing very well and expectations are that the jewelry industry will experience strong growth in the coming years, making it a very interesting market for the Antwerp diamond industry.