There have been many unprecedented changes in our lives and our businesses over the last several weeks, as the world was brought to a standstill by the novel coronavirus pandemic. Some of these changes were unthinkable even a couple of months ago. Who would have imagined doing business while confined to our homes, or meeting new clients and striking deals without international trade fairs and travel?
Yet, all of society, and within it the diamond industry has learned to adapt to these conditions. Now as operations across the pipeline begin to restart, we will need to think seriously about how we go forward. Already in Israel certain service providers have begun work within the Bourse, although the trading floor remains closed. In Antwerp, offices and trading both reopened last week with limitations and precautions. In India, although the Bharat Diamond Bourse is still closed, it is heartening that the government has allowed companies with export commitments to reopen with limited staff strength.
At WFDB, we will seek to find solutions to these issues for the bourses we head and the industry we lead. I do not claim that we will be the ones to provide all the answers. In fact, of one thing I am certain – we will all need to put our shared wisdom to work in defining the way forward.
Yet, amidst this uncertainty, what seems absolutely clear is that online trading through virtual platforms will be significantly more important in the new post COVID-19 world. WFDB, which took the decision in late March to operate a trading platform for the industry, namely the Get Diamonds trading platform , has since been working around the clock to enhance the capacity of the platform and to introduce further changes that will increase its usefulness to the global diamond community. Our aim is to make it easy and convenient to use, and to ensure that its functioning remains fully transparent, just as a platform by the industry and for the industry should be.
As I have mentioned earlier, Get Diamonds has already become the largest diamond trading platform in the world, and as we roll out interfaces in languages other than English, its following will only grow. I would like to report that the Russian version of Get Diamonds is now online and I would like to thank the Moscow Diamond Bourse, for assistance in making this happen. In addition, in the coming week we are also going to launch the Arabic version of the platform. As we previously mentioned, Get Diamonds will be tailored to serve diamonds traders around the world. More improvements are on the way, and we will keep you informed as they are unveiled. Of course, we look forward to feedback from you at every step.
Moreover, a leading Board has been chosen to Get Diamonds: the Get Diamonds non-profit subsidiary. The Board, which will be formed shortly, will comprise 12 members: five representatives of major bourses, five diamond dealers from various countries and two public representatives who are not from the diamond industry.
In addition, we are investing great efforts to revitalize our social media platforms to make them relevant and interesting to all of our members. We invite you to actively follow the WFDB on Facebook and Instagram, where we will be providing rich and diverse content, updates and real time reports about the all of the diamond bourses as well as the global diamond industry:
Until then, let’s celebrate the easing of the lockdown. But let’s continue to do so with caution, as we prepare for a future in which sanitizers and social distancing will continue to be integral to our lives.
Stay Safe. Stay Healthy.