Antwerp, December 6, 2021 – The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), the official representative of the Antwerp diamond industry, and ALROSA, world’s largest diamond mining company by volume, renewed their cooperation agreement today. The renewed cooperation agreement will further expand and strengthen the close relationship between and leadership roles of the two organizations over the course of the next years.
The objective of this new cooperation agreement is to improve the scope and efficiency of the ties between ALROSA and AWDC, and to commit to supporting the diamond industry across a broad spectrum of topics, from the open exchange of information to the promotion of joint marketing initiatives. It also seals 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 the efforts to improve consumer confidence in diamonds as a product. Furthermore, both AWDC and ALROSA emphasize the importance of diamond tracing on the international markets and of joint contribution to the sustainability agenda within a wider context of the UN SDGs. The new cooperation agreement was signed by Sergey Ivanov, CEO of ALROSA, and Ari Epstein, CEO of AWDC.
“AWDC is committed to ensure Antwerp remains the world’s leading diamond trade center, and to defend the interests of the more than 1,600 companies it represents”, said AWDC CEO Ari Epstein. “The Russian Federation is the largest producer of rough diamonds worldwide and ALROSA the world’s leading diamond mining company. 86% of all rough diamonds mined worldwide are traded in Antwerp, making the city the most important gateway to the world for Russian diamonds. In this light, renewing our 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, as we have done in the past.”
ALROSA CEO Sergey Ivanov commented: “Antwerp is the world’s most important diamond trading hub, and Belgium is one of ALROSA’s largest trade partners. Currently, ALROSA has 58 ALROSA ALLIANCE members who buy gem-quality rough diamonds, and 21 of them are companies from Belgium. AWDC is a long-standing and reliable partner for ALROSA, and I am confident that this new agreement will allow us to further our cooperation and aim our joint efforts at the sustainable development of the entire industry within the important context of the ESG transformation of the global diamond market.”
The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), is an industry-established foundation whose mission is to serve and support the diamond trade in Antwerp, the world’s leading diamond trade hub. AWDC is the coordinating body and the official representative of the Antwerp diamond industry, and as such is recognized internationally as the host, spokesperson and intermediary for the Belgian diamond community. In this capacity, AWDC liaises with governments on behalf of the Belgian diamond industry, and actively promotes support for the diamond industry at home and abroad.
84% of all rough diamonds and 50% of all polished diamonds pass through Antwerp. Diamonds represent 5% of the total Belgian exports and 15% of all Belgian exports outside the EU, making diamonds the most important export product outside the EU.