The Belt and Road Initiative, China’s principal framework for regional and international trade, is bringing benefits to the country’s gemstone and diamond sectors.
Speaking at the National Gemstone Testing Centre (NGTC) seminar on September 16, the centre’s chief scientist Dr. Lu Taijin said, “Thanks to the Belt and Road Initiative, the Chinese gemstone industry has been undergoing rapid development in the last 10 years. The industry is expected to become the largest producer of low to medium-quality synthetic gemstones in the near future.”
Dr. Lu also presented NGTC’s new GV-5000 machine that tests and identifies gemstones as natural or synthetic. The machine allows observation and measurement of fluorescence and phosphorescence, among others.
The Belt and Road Initiative is also enabling market growth for the country’s diamond sector. Professor Li Mu, dean of the Jewelry College of Shanghai JianQiao University and former vice president of the Diamond Administration Office of China, discussed the prospects and challenges in China’s diamond industry at the AGIL 2017 International Gemmological Conference.
Professor Li foresees new opportunities in the coming years. The blurring of the lines between the domestic and international markets will change the industry and provide new growth avenues, he noted. “Secondly, given increased support from the Chinese government, the industry’s structural adjustment will bring about more innovation. Thirdly, rapid development in IT and financial services will help boost the industry. Finally, ‘The Belt and Road Initiative’ and BRICS would help expand the global market,” he said.
China’s diamond industry however faces a number of challenges too in the years to come, Professor Li pointed out. These include difficulty in implementing new strategies, stringent jewellery regulations, the shortfall of skilled and knowledgeable staff, and lack of consumer knowledge on synthetic diamonds.