Bin Sulayem keynote speaker at World Jewellery Confederation Annual Congress
The UAE Kimberley Process Chair (KP Chair), Ahmed Bin Sulayem, has visited the Republic of Armenia following his travels across Africa and the Russian Federation. Mr. Bin Sulayem held talks with Serzh Sargsyan, President of Armenia, and also delivered the key note address at the The World Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO) Annual Congress on October 26.
Armenia has been a member of the KP since 2003 and the diamond industry is a significant part of the country’s manufacturing sector. Employing an estimated 3,000 to 4,000 experts, Armenia imports and processes diamonds, which are then exported across the world. In 2014, the country imported $61.5 million worth of diamonds with 40% of its supply coming from Belgium-Luxembourg and 25% from the UAE. As a centre for cutting and polishing diamonds, it’s traditionally vibrant jewellery-making sector is also a significant employer in the country.
“For decades Armenia’s precious metals sectors have been renowned for their high quality and prestige, and as one of the earliest members of the KP, the country has played a key role in strengthening the global initiative over the years,” said Mr. Bin Sulayem. “I was privileged to meet President Sargsyan and discuss with him Armenia’s evolving diamond industry, as well as how it can continue to play a deeper role within the KP. Over the past year, we have worked to engage numerous KP participants because we strongly believe that there is more that can be done to increase the vitality of this initiative, so that it can deliver greater value to everyone involved.”
In addition to discussing strengthening cooperation under the KP framework, President Sargsyan and Mr. Bin Sulayem discussed the potential growth in bilateral projects between Armenia and the UAE. With diamonds making 7.1% of the country’s exports and 3.4% of its imports in 2014, both parties agreed that Armenia continues to have a vital stake in ensuring the robustness of the KP and covered recent initiatives proposed by the Chair including the formation of a Permanent Secretariat in the UN.
Mr. Bin Sulayem’s keynote address at the CIBJO Annual Congress in Yerevan was delivered to leading individuals, organisations and companies in the jewellery, gemstones and precious metals sectors. He spoke about the importance of Armenia in the diamond industry and the important role it plays in supporting the KP’s vital mandate.