Mumbai, Oct 18, 2010 (Calcutta Tube) The world’s largest diamond exchange opens in the city’s business district Bandra-Kurla Complex on Sunday, taking India from a manufacturing to a trading hub and challenging the dominance of traditional centres like Belgium and Israel.
Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB), designed by eminent architect Balakrishna Doshi and spread over 20 acres with nine interlinked nine-storey towers each, has been set up at a cost of Rs.1,100 crore (over 200 million USD).
‘The objective is to establish necessary infrastructure facilities for the promotion of diamonds, diamond jewellery from India and provide all support and service facilities to the traders, importers, exporters and other stakeholders,’ said BDB president Anoop Mehta.
India’s diamond processing industry accounts for 70-75 percent of total diamond exports and employs 850,000 people, making it the largest cutting centre by value and number of employees. ‘All top 400 exporters are over here (at the bourse), which accounts for 90 percent of the turnover,’ said Mehta.
Incorporated in 1984 with a group of diamond exporters in the city, the exchange expects the turnover to rise 10-15 percent annually the next five years.
Currently, it has a turnover of $27-28 billion and hopes to grow substantially on higher participation from diamond traders across the globe. ‘We expect diamond traders from Israel and Belgium to start trading over here.’
The diamond industry is one of the fastest growing in the world. India today leads in every aspect of the trade, whether it be the number of pieces manufactured, maximum carats being exported and highest volumes. And the BDB will now afford it the best equipped infrastructure in the world, said Mehta.
‘India is a major diamond manufacturing centre with 11 out of 12 diamonds in the world being cut, polished and processed here. The BDB will ultimately help make India an international trading centre for gems and jewellery and take the step towards creating a Brand India in the world of diamonds.’
With state-of-the-art facilities and security, the centrally-airconditioned BDB would have an inflow of over 20,000-27,000 people a day when it is fully operational in the next few months.
It has parking space for over 2,200 vehicles, a 12,000-square foot Customs area, another 6,000-plus sq ft area for clearing agents, banks, restaurants, food courts, landscaped areas and other amenities for the staff, visitors, businessmen and clients.
With BDB in operation, Mumbai’s diamond trade currently conducted out of three buildings in the Panchratna neighborhood in south Mumbai would shift to the swank new location by December.
(Quaid Najmi can be contacted at email@example.com)