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Dear Presidents and Colleagues,

please allow me to extend my best wishes to you for the year ahead.

2012 saw a number of challenges and alas I believe we will see the supply and price of rough remaining under pressure during the coming year. It is however encouraging to hear that some of the major markets, such as the USA, have seen an increase in retail sales during the festive season and should this trend continue, it will be of great benefit to our sector.

Our first EXCO meeting for 2013 will take place in February and a communique will be sent to you regarding the WFDB for the next 12 months. During these meetings we will also be finalising PR and media plans for the WFDB in line with discussions in Mumbai to increase the profile of the WFDB and improve internal communication. I would like to call on all WFDB members to be in contact with Andrew Meyer (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) should you have any news that needs to be included in press releases and or website updates as Andrew is responsible for distributing WFDB-related news to members and the international media.

On 15 January I did a presentation to the Kimberley Process Review Mission in Johannesburg. I was pleased with the results and believe proper introductions were made which will be beneficial.

Julien Drybooms, our Vice President, visited China this month to sign an agreement between the NGTC (Chinese diamond authorities) and HRD. This agreement facilitates the joint development of technology to assist with the grading of diamonds (focussing on colour) and the HRD has also made available its equipment to assist with colour grading in China. The aim of this joint venture is to ensure greater confidence within the Chinese community when buying diamond jewellery.

In closing, I look forward to all members of the WFDB working together to make 2013 a very productive and special year in which we can build the image of the industry we represent in the eyes of the consumer and in so doing contribute to a transparent and prosperous diamond industry.

I thank you in advance for your support and I look forward to working closely with you in 2013.

Yours sincerely

Ernie Blom President

World Federation of Diamond Bourses