KP Chair hails Istanbul’s leading role in the jewelry and diamond industry globally
The UAE Kimberley Process Chair (KP Chair), Ahmed Bin Sulayem, has held a series of meetings with industry stakeholders in Turkey focused on raising consumer confidence in the diamond industry and supporting the country’s development as a trading hub for the sector.
The UAE KP Chair concluded what was described as one of the most productive trips undertaken since the beginning of the UAE KP chairmanship. Mr. Bin Sulayem met with leading representatives of the Istanbul Chamber of Jewelry: Norayr İşler, Chairman of the Board of Directors; Mustafa Tiryaki, Vice President; Ali Ramazan Şanto, General Secretary; and Hayati Karakullukcu, Advisor to the Chairman. He also held discussions with industry officials from Altinhas Holding: İmam Altinbaş, Chairman; and Ali Bulut, Group President for Overseas Investments – and the Jewellery Exporters’ Association: Ayhan Güner, Chairman; Mehmet Can Ozdemir, Member of Board of Directors – as well as Anil Özer, Regional Coordinator of the Turkish Trade Center. Additionally, on the sidelines of these meetings, Mr. Bin Sulayem also met with senior officials from Borsa Istanbul to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the body and DMCC thus building on the strategic partnership between the UAE and Turkey in the jewelry and diamond industry.
“While Turkey is still a developing market in the diamond trade, its demographics and affluent populace make it a consumer market with significant potential,” said Mr. Bin Sulayem. “We already see from its booming jewelry sector that there is strong demand for luxury goods here, but from discussions with senior stakeholders in the market, there is scope to further cement the country’s status as a leading player in the diamond industry. On behalf of the KP, we commend the progress made by the Turkish authorities with the progress and look forward to working more closely with industry stakeholders in the years ahead to ensure Turkey continues to grow as a consumer and trade hub.”
Turkey has been a member of the KP since 2007 and in the past year it imported $143,317 in rough diamonds. The country also began trading in the commodity on its stock exchange in 2014 in order to complement its vast jewelry manufacturing sector, and its status as a large consumer of gold. It also removed various taxes on diamond imports, in addition to investing in creating the appropriate infrastructure to accommodate the trade. Indicative of the potential for growth, the country’s jewelry exports reached $4.5 billion in 2014 - at a rate twice as fast as other products – and approximately 30% of this was in diamonds.
“Turkey already has the world-class infrastructure in place to become a major trade center and we strongly believe that they can benefit from the experience of other hubs such as Dubai and Antwerp in order to continue positioning Istanbul as a leading jewelry and diamond hub,” added Mr. Bin Sulayem. “With more centers for the industry around the world, these can support and help grow demand in consumer markets globally, which, naturally, continues to be essential for the sustainability of the sector. I would like to thank Turkey for all its support during the UAE KP chairmanship and for constantly championing the underlying principles of the KP. Looking ahead, we strongly believe that the country’s experience can add significant value in the future development of KP initiatives such as the common NGO Fund and the Permanent UN Secretariat, which will drive greater fair value across the diamond supply chain.”
With the visit to Turkey, Mr. Bin Sulayem has concluded a series of meetings across diamond producing and consumer markets in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Europe. He will continue to host meetings in North America.