World diamond conference on hold

November 3, 2008

Organizers of the Fifth Antwerp Diamond Conference are holding off on the annual event to allow the global economic dust to settle first.

The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) is postponing its fifth annual conference due to the weakened global economy.

The decision comes less than a month before the start of the event, which would have run from Nov. 17 to 18. The conference is traditionally seen as a roadmap for the world diamond industry.

AWDC CEO Freddy J. Hanard said it was necessary to postpone the event to “allow the dust to settle first.”

“At this stage it is not clear how the diamond market is likely to react to the current crisis,” Hanard said. “On the one hand, if there is a marked fall in global consumer demand, all luxury products are going to experience a slowdown. But on the other hand, with the lack of confidence the public is currently displaying for stocks, bonds, and other financial instruments, diamonds and diamond jewellery may be considered a safe haven.

“This is on top of the emotional focus on personal relationships that diamonds have come to symbolize, which become front-of-mind in times of crises.”

Organizers are now looking for alternate dates.

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