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Antwerp, Shanghai Celebrate 30 Years of Strong Trade Ties

Oct 15, 2014 1:09 PM   By AWDC
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Press Release: The Belgian city of Antwerp and the Chinese city of Shanghai celebrated the 30th anniversary of their sisterhood with a spectacular fashion show in Shanghai, completely accessorized with diamonds. The exclusive evening was organized by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC). Antwerp diamond traders traveled to Shanghai and seized this opportunity to network with the Chinese diamond traders who were present at the event.

Antwerp fashion designers Ann Demeulemeester, Haider Ackermann and Jean-Paul Lespagnard displayed a number of unique pieces that they had carefully selected from their collection for a special  Diamond Night. Diamond jewelry from Antwerp, provided by diamond company Casa Gi, added sparkle to the clothes on the runway. The entire evening was sponsored by Silk Road Diamonds.

"China is the fastest growing market for diamonds," said Margaux Donckier,  the spokeswoman for the AWDC. "A good relationship with the Shanghai Diamond Exchange is therefore of great importance for the Antwerp diamond sector."

Last year, Antwerp exported 1.8 million carats of polished diamond to China and Hong Kong, with a value of $3.7 billion. This success can be explained by young Chinese couples, who think that a diamond ring is a condition for a good marriage.

The growing popularity of diamonds is also contributing to  the growth of the Chinese jewelry market.  According to experts, the Chinese jewelry market will be worth more than $100 billion by 2015, which would bring China to the same level as the U.S. by 2020.

During the mission, the AWDC signed several agreements with the Shanghai Diamond Exchange, aiming to improve cooperation between the two trading centers even more in the years to come. The mission concluded with a Diamond Night gala, where the participating Antwerp diamond traders had the chance to meet their Chinese counterparts.

Silk Road Diamonds, the sponsor of the Antwerp Diamond Night, stated that this mission personifies everything its stands for as Belgian-Chinese company: establishing a link between Antwerp and China, just like the Silk Road connected the East and the West ages ago. It was honored to have sponsored the event.

"With over 550 years worth of knowledge and experience, Antwerp guarantees excellent quality, a controlled and transparent trade and good prices," said Donckier. "This is why the Chinese like to do business with Antwerp, which is of course beneficial for the industry in our country."

The Antwerp diamond district is home to more than 1,700 diamond companies, directly creating 6,600 jobs and indirectly creating 32,600 jobs. Diamonds represent 5 percent of Belgian exports of goods and services and 15 percent of Belgian exports outside the EU. That makes diamonds the most important Belgian export outside the EU.  AWDC is the coordinating body and the official representative of the Antwerp diamond sector and promotes the entire diamond industry at home and abroad and is internationally recognized as the host, spokesperson and intermediary for the entire Belgian diamond community.  Eight-four percent of all rough diamonds and 50 percent of all polished diamonds pass through Antwerp. 


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Tags: Antwerp, AWDC, China, marketing, shanghai
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