Diamonds are living up to their claim of being good friends – for people in the western Canadian province of Saskatchewan, and Gujarat, a state in western India.
In an ongoing trade mission currently in India, the Canadian team has pitched their province’s diamond reserves, the largest in the world, in the hope of strategic business alliances benefiting both partners.
According to a report in Daily News and Analysis, if the deal goes through, it could have the double-barreled effect of turning Canada into one of the world’s biggest diamond producers, as well as place Gujarat in a controlling position in the world diamond trade. This would allow them to rival DeBeers, says the report.
Like many industries worldwide, diamond workers in Gujarat are in the midst of a severe crunch. There are more than a million people in Gujarat working in the diamond trade. Many of them are now jobless and have been forced to adopt unsavoury means to make ends meet. Some have been considering selling their kidneys to make money. There have been two recent suicides, say reports.
The Canadian delegation is led by Lyle Stewart, minister of enterprise and innovation in Saskatchewan. Commenting on the fact that demand for his province’s natural resources is strong, Stewart said on his website [url=http://www.lylestewart.ca/]http://www.lylestewart.ca/ : A trade mission currently underway in India is reinforcing the long and productive relationship between one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing economies and Saskatchewan. The Saskatchewan delegation is meeting with business, academic, government and research contacts in India, as well as with interests in key resource sectors like uranium, diamonds, and oil and gas.