Surat, May 1 (ANI): Diamond traders in Surat are facing tough competition from China, which is pushing for direct deals with African governments for the supply of rough diamonds.
Surat is considered India's diamond hub, and this scramble for diamonds from Africa has unsettled many diamond traders in the region, as they fear that gradually China would emerge as a major diamond manufacturer in the near future.
"Indian industries can be affected by this news as there are many diamond cutting and polishing industries in this country, and many people work in these industries.
If raw material are given to China, then people over there will get more employment and gradually China would emerge as a strong diamond manufacturer," said Chandrakant Sanghvi, Chairman of the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council.
Meanwhile, Rohit Mehta, the chief of Surat Diamond Association said that the Indian government should strike a similar deal with the African governments so that India can obtain rough diamonds from the African countries as part of deals.
"The export promotion council is putting pressure on the Indian government to do a similar act and set up a fund, which will help the government in giving assistance to various African countries. The export diamond association fully supports the Export Promotion Council in this particular matter," said Mehta.
The Surat diamond industry is worth 800,000 million rupees and accounts for over half of the total diamond exports from India.
It employs over 700,000 workers from across the country. Over 2.5 million people are indirectly associated with the trade.
The diamonds processed in Surat are sent to various parts of the world, including the Middle East, from where manufactured jewellery is then sold across the globe. (ANI)