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'REMEMBER THIS--THE VAST MAJORITY OF MEMBERS OF DIAMOND EXCHANGES AROUND THE WORLD REPRESENT SMALLER AND LARGER SIZED COMPANIES. IF THE TRADING CONDITIONS ARE OPTIMIZED AND THE MEMBERSHIP OF THE WFDB GROWS TO INCLUDE NEW MARKETS AND OPPORTUNITIES, AS IT IS DOING, THEN THE POSITION OF ALL BOURSE MEMBERS WILL BE IMPROVED.'
The past two years have been rollercoaster ones for Shmuel Schnitzer, the president of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) and the Israel Diamond Exchange. Elected to the top position at the WFDB during the 30th World Diamond Congress in 2002, he has since presided over an organization that is adjusting to the changing rules and conditions in the diamond business. Much of that change was instigated by De Beers' Supplier of Choice policy, which is a subject that touches a good number of sensitive nerves in the world federation. Indeed, because of Supplier of Choice, the WFDB and the Diamond Trading Company have on occasions appeared to be sitting on opposite sides of the fence.
As WFDB president, Schnitzer also has seen the growing proliferation of synthetic diamonds and diamonds treated by High Pressure-High Temperature methods, and as such is one of the key officials in the industry required to formulate an adequate response.
Ahead of the World Diamond Congress and the 31st meeting of the general assembly of the WFDB, which took place in New York from October 17-20, Schnitzer sat down with New York Diamonds, to review his first term as federation president and to talk about the future.