MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT

Taking the long term view

December 10, 2008: It is in people's nature to try and enjoy the world around them and many things our modern world has to offer, especially during vacations. Therefore, even when the economy tightens and there is less discretional spending on luxury, there is no doubt that during this holiday season too, men and women will continue to buy diamond jewelry for those they love and care for.

 

While we all may be looking with apprehension at how the holiday sales season will ultimately turn out, I suggest we take the long term view that our industry, is by definition, an optimistic one. We work in a fascinating industry - the diamond and jewelry trade. Jewelry has been around for thousands of years, in all cultures and societies, all over the world. In fact, archeological research has demonstrated that jewelry has been around since man started walking upright.

Therefore, I allow myself to be optimistic as to the future of our business. We can cope with a changing economy -- and world, for that matter – and in order to do so we need to make sure we are well equipped to cope with these changes we encounter.

So how can the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) help its constituents, the 15,000 members of the 28 bourses that are affiliated to our organization?  One of the WFDB's roles is to speak and act on behalf of the interest of its members. Only last month, the WFDB was the focal point of attention when we called, with success,  upon the rough diamond producers to reduce the sale of rough goods to the market and urged manufacturers and wholesalers worldwide to curb sales and not dump goods in the market, thus maintaining price levels of polished goods.

Secondly, the WFDB serves as the industry watchdog as it upholds and guards our trade's integrity and, through and with the help of its member bourses, assures that the diamond trade is ethical, responsible and accountable for its actions. Naturally, the WFDB also serves as a central information hub for its membership. While the WFDB Secretary General's office has been fulfilling a central role in communicating and liaising with the bourses, we were lacking a single, central, online portal where members could go to find the latest information about the organization.  I am therefore very pleased that toward the end of the year, we have launched the brand new WFDB website. The site offers up to date and encompassing information about the WFDB, its mission and structure, membership, statutes, congresses, resolutions, as well as extensive news and archives for easy reference. I hope the WFDB affiliates bourses and our members will use this resource well.

I wish you all a peaceful, fruitful, successful and, mostly, optimistic 2009!