| Avi Ohayon
| President Shimon Peres, at that time Prime Minister viewing the city of Ramat Gan from the roof of the Diamond Exchange in 1996 alongside Ramat Gan Mayor Tzvi Bar|
The Israel diamond industry responded with several structural changes. The most prominent change in this decade is the gradual disappearance of the middlemen, who were replaced with direct marketing by the manufacturers themselves. The growing transition from marketing large packages in the exchange buildings to selling single diamonds and shipping to all corners of the world required considerable expansion of the marketing and administration departments and significant increases in operating costs.
The Israel diamond industry has invested efforts in improving profitability in national and international spheres alike. At home, after long, persistent negotiations, the Israel Diamond Manufacturers Association, together with the Israel Diamond Exchange, obtained eligibility of the diamond industry for the industry and trade ministry’s marketing fund, as well as recognition of depreciation on equipment by the tax authorities. On the international scene, the presidents of the diamond organizations worldwide undertook a campaign to persuade the CSO to take measures to increase profitability: statements of concern were issued at the world diamond congress held in Singapore in 1997, followed up by further talks. By mid-1997, a policy of reduced quotas of rough diamonds was already evident at the Sights.
The 1990s also saw energetic activity of the Israel Diamond Institute in the fields of technology and marketing. For example, IDI organized delegations to exhibitions and diamond markets and held numerous seminars on existing and potential markets. In 1997, it was particularly active in Indonesia, the Philippines, Turkey, Basel and elsewhere.
In the last few years of the decade there was a notable addition of the younger generation to the Israel Diamond Exchange. More than 350 young members joined the exchange, adding new energy to the development of the Israel diamond industry.
Source: HaYahalom - State of Israel Jubilee edition
Images courtesy of the Govenment Press Office