The Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB), labelled as the world's largest diamond trading centre, opened Sunday in India's financial capital Mumbai, more than 20 years after the idea was first mooted.
The Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB) is spread over 20 acres, with eight towers of nine storeys each, housing 2,500 offices in addition to the customs department, banks and other service providers who cater to the gems and jewellery trade. An extra space of 2 million sq ft has also been provided for auditoriums, theatres or trading halls.
The BDB has been set up with an objective of establishing necessary infrastructure facilities for the promotion of the export of diamonds, and will provide support and service facilities to make India an international trading center for gems and jewellery.
Anoop Mehta, President of Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB), told the Wall Street Journal, that close to $18 billion worth of diamonds were exported from India during the last fiscal year and he is hoping that the new trading hub will bring more international diamond traders to India’s financial capital.
“We haven’t had foreigners coming here for trading and manufacturing of their diamonds because we just didn’t have infrastructure that was at par with Israel or Antwerp,” Mehta said. “Now that we have the facilities, I am certain that more diamond traders will be encouraged to set up offices in India.”
The bourse is expected to have an inflow of 20,000-25,000 people a day and the number is expected to go up to 30,000 in the peak hours. Over 2,000 security cameras have been installed at the bourse, designed to match global standards.
It took 18 years to complete this project and Rs 12 billion (over US$ 200 million) were spent on the project, including the price of the land if Rs 2.50 billion.
Bharat Diamond Bourse
Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB), and spread over 20 acres with nine interlinked nine-storey towers each, has been set up at a cost of Rs 11 billion (over USD 200 million).
India's diamond processing industry accounts for 70-75 percent of total diamond exports and employs 850,000 people, making it the largest cutting centre by value and number of employees. "All top 400 exporters are over here (at the bourse), which accounts for 90 percent of the turnover," Mehta told The Times of India Newspaper. He said, "India is a major diamond manufacturing centre with 11 out of 12 diamonds in the world being cut, polished and processed here. The BDB will ultimately help make India an international trading centre for gems and jewellery and take the step towards creating a Brand India in the world of diamonds."
Here are some details on the diamond industry in India, according to Reuters:
- India, the third largest diamond consumer after the United States and Japan, accounted for 8 percent of global consumption in 2009. This is expected to grow to 11 percent by 2016.
- De Beers, the world's largest diamond producer with 40 percent of the market, expects India and China to be the next engines of growth for the sector, together accounting for 20 percent of consumption in 2016. The United States will retain the top spot with 37 percent.
- De Beers supplies rough diamonds to selected customers who polish and cut the roughs for jewellery making. De Beers has a network of 75 "sight holders" or customers, globally, 29 of them in India.
- Other than local consumption, India also imports diamonds for re-export. The country processes about seven in every 10 of the world's diamonds, and holds about 57 percent of the diamond processing industry. - The processing industry accounts for 70-75 percent of total diamond exports and employs 850,000 people, making it the largest cutting centre by value and number of employees.
- In 2009/10, India exported 59.9 million carats of diamonds valued at $18.24 billion.