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AWDC and ALROSA Sign New Cooperation Agreement During City of Antwerp’s Mission to Russia

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(PRESS RELEASE) On April 24, during the City of Antwerp’s Mission to Russia, organized in cooperation with the Port of Antwerp, leading partner Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) signed a cooperation agreement with the world’s leading diamond mining company, ALROSA. Leading this mission emphasizes AWDC’s commitment to safeguarding Antwerp’s position as the leading trade hub in the diamond industry, and signing this new cooperation agreement with ALROSA will expand and strengthen the privileged relationship between these leading organizations for years to come.

In signing this agreement at an official ceremony – held in the presence of Bart de Wever, Mayor of Antwerp, and Jean-Arthur Regibeau, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium to Russia- AWDC CEO Ari Epstein and ALROSA CEO Sergey Ivanov have expanded and strengthened the privilegedrelationship between these leading organizations for years to come. 

The objective of this new cooperation agreementis to improve the scope and efficiency of the ties between ALROSA and AWDC, and to commit to supporting one another across a broad spectrum of topics, from the open exchange of information to the promotion of joint marketing initiatives. It also seals their mutual commitment to protect the integrity and transparency of the diamond value chain by supporting the work of the World Diamond Council and the Kimberley Process, and reaffirms their efforts to improve consumer confidence in diamonds as a product.

“As the official representative of the Antwerp diamond industry, AWDC is committed to ensuring Antwerp remains the world’s leading diamond trade center, and to defending the interests of its 1,600 companies at home as well as abroad, now and in the future,” said AWDC CEO Ari Epstein. “Rough diamonds are the second leading import product from Russia to Belgium, representing 33% of all Russian imports. ALROSA’s production alone represents 31% of all rough goods traded in the diamond capital, and 21% of the total value of Antwerp’s rough diamond trade. In this light, signing this agreement sends a clear signal that we embrace our leading roles in the global diamond industry, and that we will work together to turn whatever challenges arise into mutual opportunities.”

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ALROSA CEO Sergey Ivanov, said, “Belgium is the world’s largest diamond trading center and ALROSA’s largest trade partner. In 2017 alone, ALROSA supplied rough diamonds worth over USD 2 billion to companies in Belgium. ALROSA has 55 long-term clients who buy gem-quality rough diamonds, and 21 of them are companies from Belgium. That is why we are interested in cooperating with this market and its industry organizations. AWDC is ALROSA’s long-standing and reliable partner with vast experience, and I am confident that the new agreement will allow us to further strengthen our cooperation and aim our joint efforts at the development of the industry.”

The Russian Federation is the largest producer of rough diamonds worldwide, in value as well as volume. Nearly 85% of all rough diamonds mined worldwide are traded in Antwerp, making the city the most important gateway to the world for Russian diamonds. ALROSA’s clients prefer doing business in Antwerp not only because of its history, but also because of its unparalleled infrastructure, logistics and security. 

The stability and predictability of Antwerp’s diamond trade makes it the most competitive place for ALROSA and its clients to do business. AWDC and ALROSA interact on issues related to the Kimberley Process, exchange views on industry developments, work to harmonize legislative matters and find ways to increase business. The City of Antwerp’s mission to Russia affords another opportunity to continue to reinforce this fruitful friendship.  

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