Russia-India cooperation in diamond industry ‘growing at S-400 missile speed’
One of India’s major diamond processing companies hailed its cooperation with Russia in the diamond industry, saying, “the whole world is wearing Russian diamonds with Indian cut.”
According to Arpit Narola, a member of the board of directors of Shree Ramkrishna Exports, one of India’s largest diamond processing companies, cooperation between the two countries in this area “is developing and growing at the speed of an S-400 missile.”
“We are actively developing relations with Russia. We receive high-quality unprocessed stones. We cut and polish Russian raw diamonds and send them as sets for making necklaces, earrings, bracelets, rings to jewelry houses or individual clients around the world,” Narola said.
The diamond-cutting company is based in Surat in the western Indian state of Gujarat, which is considered the diamond processing center of the country. The Surat diamond mining industry processes 30% to 35% of Russian diamonds. They also receive rough diamonds from Africa, as well as domestic diamond mines.
Russian-Indian trade in diamonds in three quarters of 2021 nearly doubled compared to the same period last year, Russia’s trade representative in India, Alexander Rybas, told the media.
“As of the end of September 2021, roughly $700 million worth of rough diamonds were shipped directly from Russia to India alone,” Rybas said.
Also, part of the Russian-Indian diamond trade is carried out through third countries – so, in reality, even more Russian precious stones end up in India’s diamond-cutting factories.
India is the world’s center for cutting rough diamonds, where more than 90% of all gem-cutting facilities in the world are located. Its major buyers include the US, China, the countries of the Persian Gulf, and Singapore.
“Indian cutters are the best. This is recognized by the whole world. Your [Russian] stones are good. Therefore, our cooperation is natural,” Narola said. He also noted that the diamond industry has profited from the Covid-19 pandemic, as people who are able to spend more time with their loved ones started to invest in jewelry as gifts.
“Diamonds are [how] we can express our love to our family… People began to invest in jewelry, precious stones. Therefore, there was a great demand on the market and prices are serious, on the rise for about the last 15 months,” he said.
For more stories on economy & finance visit RT's business section