Participating in CIBJO’s Jewellery Industry Voices seminar at the VOICE Vicenzaoro trade event in Vicenza, Italy, on September 12, 2020, the WDC President discusses the impact of the global pandemic on the diamond industry and its stakeholders along the value chain.
When I left Freetown, Sierra Leone, to fly home to my family in London on March 11, I expected to be back in West Africa within weeks. How could I have known that fewer than 10 days later the Government of Sierra Leone would announce the closure of all border crossings and international arrivals via air, and that I would be sitting in my living room in London while writing this piece.
Our huge trading hall, which is usually teeming with activity, is now fairly empty because of restrictions that allow only 100 people access at a time. Who would have imagined a diamond exchange with no handshakes to seal transactions?
During the lockdown we found that there was a demand among diamantaires in Israel and around the world for a new and transparent international trading platform.
The economic crisis that struck in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic impacted in unprecedented ways on China’s jewelry retail markets and their supply chains.
More than four months into the COVID-19 crisis, it is difficult and most probably premature to gauge the impact of the global epidemic on the rough diamond industry and trade, and more specifically on the artisanal mining sector, where information is scarce and largely anecdotal.
In one short month the world has changed in very dramatic ways. In mid-February I was enjoying some golf in the warmer climate of the southern U.S. There was very little talk of even the seasonal flu, let alone COVID-19, although my 21-year-old son managed to get Influenza B from his college roommates.
After 32 years of practically residing in airports around the world and earning a PhD in business lounges, I am finally homebound. Yes, not by choice and I wish under different circumstances, but that’s life.
Like everywhere, in Dubai, people’s everyday lives have been impacted and disrupted. In such circumstances, businesses have a responsibility to act, to be part of the solution and to shoulder the burden and support their employees, their partners, their customers, and their entire communities.
During these days of global crisis, where all of us to one degree or another find ourselves in the same boat, it’s tough to decide who is offering special insight into our collective predicament.