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Show Fatigue, Visa Issues Subdue U.S. & Intl. Diamond Week

Apr 10, 2014 10:51 AM   By Ronen Shnidman
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RAPAPORT... The U.S. & International Diamond Week in Israel ended on Thursday, having accomplished its main goal of increasing communication and intra-bourse dealing on the floor of Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE).

Local dealers described trading opportunities as good, but nothing stellar, saying that the number of foreign buyers at the event was relatively small. Two reasons for light foreign traffic were heard on the trading floor: trade show fatigue and visitor visa issues.

The Israel Foreign Ministry strike prevented many foreign buyers from receiving visas in time to attend the show in Ramat Gan, said a trader from an Indian company who wished to remain anonymous. The 11-day strike by Israeli diplomats brought most services at Israeli consulates and embassies abroad to a standstill up until April 2, just days before the start of the event.

Another explanation for the small number of foreign buyers repeated several times by Israeli traders was show fatigue. Three diamond-related shows in Europe immediately preceded Ramat Gan's diamond week, namely Baselworld and The Diamond Show by Rapaport that took place in Basel and the Jewellery & Gem Fair by UBM in Freiburg, Germany.

"There is activity, but perhaps the timing was not so successful, being after Hong Kong, Baselworld and Freiburg," said Yosef Ben Zion, a member of the IDE's organizing committee for the event.

However, all traders emphasized that goods were moving during the week with relative success at the event varying very much by market niche.

Nearly 400 companies operated booths during the event, offering $1 billion worth of goods. To promote a greater volume of business deals event organizer kept buyer and sellers’ costs to a minimum. This meant the IDE footed the bill for buyers’ hotel rooms and sellers did not have to pay for booths or advertisements. To ensure that all exchange members had equal opportunity to benefit from the event, all companies were given standard-size booths.

Tags: diamond week, Foreign Ministry strike, IDE, Israel Diamond Exchange, Polished Diamonds, Ramat Gan, Ronen Shnidman, trading
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