Trading in Israel in early March was up, as the Hong Kong trade show in February brought good demand from Asia. Demand for medium range goods was steady, as was demand for fancy shapes. There was renewed interest in fancy color diamonds, especially after the Basel show. Demand for rough diamonds remained steady. Later in the month polished trading continued to improve with good demand from the Far East and the United States. At the end of the month trading quieted in anticipation of the Passover holiday in early April, during which the bourse closed for a week.
BASELWORLD 2012, the leading trade event in Europe took place from March 8 – 15, with seventeen Israeli diamond companies exhibiting in Hall 3, the loose diamond hall. IDI operated a prominently placed information and image booth in Hall 3.1, NO1. The Israeli exhibitors reported good traffic at the show and increased interest in their goods.
As in previous years the Israel Diamond Institute (IDI) held its traditional press lunch at the show. IDI Managing Director Eli Avidar told the audience that the Israeli Diamond Industry is “an island of stability, at a time of volatility and uncertainty.” This is the theme of IDI’s new strategic marketing campaign: “Welcome to Israel – where stability reigns.” Avidar launched the institute’s marketing strategy at the event and said that this would be the theme for all marketing efforts in 2012 in Israel and abroad.
The IDI event also featured the internationally acclaimed futurist, Prof. David Passig, who told the audience that the mega trend that will have the greatest impact on the 21st century will be the “demographic winter”, or the decline in the human population on the planet, and the relative decrease in the younger population and the rise in the percentage of elders. This trend he said will shape industries and services in far reaching ways.
During the month the Israeli Diamond Industry presented a Lifetime Achievement Award to Nicky Oppenheimer, Chairman of De Beers, after he sold his family’s stake in the rough producing company. The ceremony was held at a festive event in Tel Aviv to celebrate Oppenheimer’s enormous contribution to the world diamond industry and to the Israeli industry in particular. He responded by saying how honored he was to receive the award “for the Oppenheimer family – past, present and future.”
Oppenheimer also met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who spoke of the importance of the diamond industry to the Israeli economy. Netanyahu told Oppenheimer that he sees it as his responsibility to enhance the Israeli diamond center.