Last week we learned that Israel’s anti-money laundering and tax authorities lowered the risk rating of Israel’s diamond industry from high to medium. This did not happen on its own. It resulted from huge efforts over the past several years, which I led as President of the Israel Diamond Exchange and Boaz Moldawsky continued, to improve transparency and compliance with AML guidelines. The process was challenging both within the bourse and with the governmental authorities. It included negotiating with the authorities to conclude an historic tax settlement and AML guidelines for the diamond industry, which we incorporated into our bourse regulations.
After years of hard work, we finally achieved the first fruits of our labor – an improved risk rating. Although it is just a beginning, I cannot stress how important this achievement is in the wider perspective. The diamond industry has had difficulties attaining bank credit around the world. The international financial sector has been developing protocols to increase transparency and AML compliance.
I believe that it is of the greatest importance that we as an industry take the necessary measures to meet these requirements. I call on our member bourses to undertake this process.
On another note, we will be holding the next WFDB Presidents’ Meeting, in conjunction with IDMA, on February 24 -25, 2022 in Dubai. The DMCC, led by Executive Chairman Ahmed Bin Sulayem and Martin Leake, is going all out as host to provide us with a wonderful experience. I look forward to seeing you all there.
We are concluding a very strong holiday period, which is turning out to be the best season we can recall. I am optimistic that the first quarter of 2022 will be even better than the year before. I wish you all a very happy and healthy holiday and a wonderful New Year.