Mumbai, India — MININGREVIEW.COM — 18 October 2010 – India “’ the world leader in the export of cut and polished diamonds “’ is taking a major step towards becoming a global trading centre for the gemstone with a newly launched diamond exchange.
The Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB), “’ touted as the world’s largest diamond trading centre, “’ opened yesterday in the Indian financial capital, more than 20 years after the idea had first been proposed.
India’s bid to become a diamond hub to match Antwerp in Belgium and Tel Aviv in Israel has had a bumpy ride, overcoming contractor disputes, floods, fires and charges of misuse of funds.
The 287 700 sq m exchange will bring export and trading firms, banks, vaults, a customs department and investors under one roof, in an eight-tower complex in Mumbai’s main commercial district.
With this, Mumbai will be the largest diamond hub in the world, BDB president Anoop Mehta said of the $240 million (R1.68 billion) project. Mumbai’s diamond trade currently operates from cramped offices in three buildings in the city’s south.
“Traders will shift to the state-of-the-art, high-security complex by December,” Mehta told reporters at the bourse during a preview for journalists..
The exchange has 900 trader-members and another 1 400 provisional members. Bourse officials showed off the customs department and a strong room for storing diamonds intended for export.
“All segments of the diamond business will get streamlined by coming under one roof, ensuring economy of trade and better work conditions,” said Darshan Lakhani of Mahima Gems, a Mumbai-based diamond manufacturer.
India is the world’s largest cut diamond exporter, with annual exports of around US$28billion (R196 billion), but trading volume is negligible. “We need to grow as a diamond trading centre, to match Antwerp and Israel,” said Mehta.