Panama Diamond Exchange
An invitation last week to Indian companies to participate in the project, is the latest initiative of the Panama Diamond Exchange.
Launched last March, the Exchange is the first Latin American member of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses.
Each of the Federation’s 30 members provides a market, where buyers and sellers can do business in a center, which is secure, and in which pre-approved members apply specialized rules governing trading, including dispute-settlement procedures.
The Panama Exchange concentrates largely on diamonds, but also includes trading in other gemstones, as well as jewelry.
The Exchange aims to generate annual revenue for Panama of some $3 billion within the next five years, by attracting some 400 member companies, half from Latin America, and the other half from the United States, Israel, India, China and Russia.
The tax-exempt Exchange will be part of a $200 million Gem and Jewelry Center, construction of which will be complete next year.
Diamonds will be flown in from New York, Antwerp, Tel Aviv, Dubai, Hong Kong and Mumbai, among other sources.
A lack of a diamond exchange in the region has meant that Latin American buyers typically had to travel to the United States or Europe.
The retail value of the fine jewelry business in Latin America is about $8 billion a year.
Latin America has around 320 mining companies and nearly 750 wholesalers of diamonds, precious stones and jewels.