Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who arrived in Belgium on March 30 for a day-long visit, personally welcomed members of the Antwerp World Diamond Centre’s (AWDC) board of directors. AWDC is the umbrella organisation for the Antwerp diamond industry.
Belgium is one of Europe’s top three trade partners with India, and is the second-largest exporter of goods to India. This is primarily attributed to the diamond trade, AWDC said in a press release. The diamond trade accounts for approximately 82 percent (US$7.85 billion) of all Belgian goods exported to India. When only taking the Flemish Region into consideration, the diamond trade represents as much as 88 percent of exports to India.
Nearly 75 percent of all rough diamonds traded in Antwerp are exported to India to be processed into polished diamonds. Annually, Antwerp exports 85 million carats of diamonds to India, valued at US$11 billion.
Ari Epstein, CEO of AWDC, said, “Trade relations between Antwerp and India are excellent. The fact that Indian Prime Minister Modi has recognised this explicitly by inviting us to meet him personally is therefore greatly appreciated in the Antwerp diamond industry.”