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India's Diamond Sector To Be Closed Friday

GJEPC Reassures Trade That Events Will Go Ahead as Planned

Jul 14, 2011 4:30 AM   By Avi Krawitz
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RAPAPORT... India’s diamond sector will close on Friday to honor victims of the terror attack that hit Mumbai on Wednesday. The government confirmed that 17 people died in the attacks, while 131 people were admitted to hospitable for injuries, of which 23 were serious.


Sanjay Kothari, vice president of the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) told Rapaport News that the industry would close for the day and that the industry plans to host a condolences meeting on Saturday to honor those affected by the attack.  He stressed that the council’s summer program of trade events would continue as planned.


''We will make every effort to ensure that foreigners are safe and that everyone is taken care of,'' Kothari said. “There is nothing to worry about and the attacks will not have an impact on the industry.”


The GJEPC is preparing to host its largest trade event of the year when large delegations of diamond dealers from Belgium, Israel and the Far East are expected to attend the India International Jewellery Show (IIJS) in Mumbai at the beginning of August. Kothari added that security would be increased to ensure the success of the event.


Two of the bombs went off almost simultaneously at around 6:54 p.m. on Wednesday at rush hour in the southern part of Mumbai, at Opera House and Zaveri Bazaar, which are both focal points for the city’s diamond and jewelry trade. Kothari confirmed that diamond brokers and dealers were among the fatalities.


Yair Sahar, president of the Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) sent condolences to his counterpart at the Bharat Diamond Bourse.  “Living as we do in a country that has experienced the horror and tragedy of terrorism many times in the past, we are well aware of the significance and the impact of such incidents,” Sahar wrote. “On behalf of the entire diamond community in Israel, please convey our deepest condolences to the people of India and to the Bharat Diamond Bourse.”


Kothari reported that most of the diamond center's offices were open for business today, although police have kept one or two buildings closed. “We must be strong enough to minimize the impact the terrorists have on our lives and give support to those that have been affected,” he said. “It will take a few days but soon things will be back to normal.”

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Tags: Avi Krawitz, diamonds, Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), IIJS, Jewelry, Mumbai terror attacks
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