The diamond industry has a few years to prepare for the next 50 years, says Paul Rowley, De Beers’ Executive Vice President of Global Sightholder Sales. If they do not, the diamond sector outlook is not a positive one.
Speaking at the Dubai Diamond Conference, he said that all participants in the diamond industry must focus on targeted investments if they are to make the most of the opportunities over the medium and long term.
Rowley said Dubai is an example of how to generate success in the diamond industry through a series of targeted investments and noted that Dubai had grown from playing a minor role in the global diamond business to become one of the key trading centres by recognising the opportunity on the horizon, then investing to create a positive enabling environment.
Highlighting De Beers’ activities throughout the diamond pipeline, Rowley noted that De Beers was also using targeted investments to position itself for future success: “Starting with the consumer – as consumer demand is the only true source of value in the diamond trade – we invest in diamond equity.
In the midstream, we invest in rough diamond sales and distribution excellence and improved efficiency, while upstream we continue to invest in production capacity expansion (with Cut 8, Venetia Underground and Gahcho Kue) as well as exploration, so that we so that we can help meet increasing diamond demand.”
Rowley called on the wider industry to follow a similar programme of targeted investment in order to maximise the potential of the industry’s exceptional medium and long term demand outlook: “Here in Dubai, there has long been a clear appreciation of the need for timely action. Investments made many years ago are still paying off today. The leadership of this emirate saw the opportunity; they made the investments; and they are now reaping the rewards.
At De Beers we continue to make investments throughout the value chain that we believe will drive our success in the years ahead and all participants in the diamond industry have the chance to do likewise.”
Rowley concluded by saying, however, that there was a limited window of opportunity for investments if their benefits are to be maximised: “The industry will soon be faced with a period of heightened opportunity, the like of which we have not seen in more than a generation. In order to capitalise fully on the opportunities we need to focus now on the appropriate investments. There is no time to waste.”