The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) has said bilateral trade between Belgium and Korea is poised for further growth if the latter's 5 percent tax on diamond imports is removed.
Representatives of the AWDC joined Belgium’s state visit to South Korea from March 24 to 28.
“The visit served as an opportunity to raise at the political level the issue of the 5 percent import tax on diamonds from Antwerp. Eliminating this tax would have a very positive influence on Antwerp-Korea trade,” AWDC said in a statement. “As it now stands, Antwerp is at a competitive disadvantage compared to other trade centres that are already exempt from paying this import tax.”
South Korea earlier abolished a 26 percent individual consumption tax on polished diamond imports, replacing it with a 5 percent import tax and a 10 percent value-added tax.
The state visit also saw the launch of three special diamond cuts developed by major Korean jeweller Golden dew together with Antwerp-based diamond companies.
Golden dew developed the special cuts with IGC Group, S Muller & Sons Diamonds and Mikisa Gems. These cuts were selected as the most original designs from a competition that the AWDC and Golden dew organised for Antwerp diamond companies.
The IGC Group developed the “Golden dew cut” – a unique cut with a teardrop shape certified by HRD Antwerp. S Muller & Sons introduced the EightStar cut, which gives a diamond additional fire and brilliance. Finally, Mikisa Gems created the UltraBrights cut, which uses a special technique to improve the light optimisation and brilliance of very small stones. Golden dew will distribute these special cuts exclusively throughout Korea.