Latin America gets its first diamond exchange
Panama will soon be known for much more than its vast and undeveloped copper depositsor its strategic Canal, as the country has launched this week a $200 million dedicated gem and jewellery trading centre, the first of its kind in the region.
The bourse will also house the Panama Diamond Exchange (PDE), which is expected to grow the $8 billion fine jewellery retail business in Latin America to more than $10 billion in the next two years.
Latin America is not foreign to precious gems trade, but the sector has not taken off because it has lacked the trading infrastructure that is standard in the other major markets, said in a press release Eli Izhakoff, honorary president of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses, the World Diamond Council and the World Jewellery Confederation.
Diamonds will be flown in from places such as New York, Antwerp, Tel Aviv, Dubai, Hong Kong and Mumbai, with the goal of making the PDE a hub for the region billed as the world’s most untapped jewellery market.
Panama’s trading centre will enjoy a tax-free regime and hopes to capitalize on Panama’s strategic location and status as a commercial and financial hub that is home to one of the world’s major shipping lanes.