India and Russia stand to benefit from a deal signed by the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) and Russian miner Alrosa aimed at boosting the two countries’ diamond sectors through trade development and generic promotion of diamonds.
The Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) was finalised on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in the presence of Indian Prime Minister Hon. Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
GJEPC Chairman Praveenshankar Pandya and Alrosa President Sergey Ivanov signed the agreement.
The MoC stipulates the proposed creation of a special tax regime to allow direct sales out of the India Diamond Trading Centre; the establishment of an Alrosa representative office within the Bharat Diamond Bourse, with the possibility of turning it into to a sales office; greater exchange of trade information and technology between GJEPC and Alrosa; and the generic marketing of diamonds, with the aim of upholding and promoting diamond consumer equity and sustainable growth of the market.
The deal also vowed to strengthen synthetic diamond detection efforts by exchanging information on undisclosed mixing of synthetic and natural diamonds, and supporting the creation of a legislation on mandatory disclosure of synthetic diamonds. GJEPC will also promote the use of Alrosa’s synthetic diamond detection devices while Alrosa will join India’s Natural Diamond Monitoring Committee (NDMC).
GJEPC’s Pandya remarked: “The signing of the MoC is extremely significant due to several reasons. It takes forward the aspirations of the Indian diamond industry, which is aligned with the vision of our prime minister to develop India as an international diamond trading hub. It is also the first step towards Alrosa setting up a rough diamond representative office within the country. GJEPC has been encouraging diamond mining companies to sell rough diamonds directly to the Indian market, and the MoC may be the first step to realising this goal.”
Pandya further commented: “The mixing of synthetic and natural diamonds, and the consequent threat to consumer confidence, is one of the biggest challenges facing the diamond industry. The GJEPC has taken the lead in dealing with this issue by setting up the NDMC, which has been doing stellar work. The combined efforts of GJEPC and Alrosa towards this goal will no doubt have a tremendous impact on the entire diamond industry.”