For 30 years Antwerp and Shanghai have been sister cities. This jubilee was celebrated with an exclusive night commemorating the strong ties between both cities. Belgian designers, Ann Demeulemeester, Haider Ackerman and Jean-Paul Lespagnard were the stars of the night, showing some of their unique creations graced with Antwerp diamond jewelry.
Networking for Antwerp Diamantairs.
The event organized by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre provided the opportunity for diamantairs to make useful contacts with their Chinese colleagues. Even Antwerp’s newly elected mayor, Bart de Wever, joined the party.
According to AWDC’s Margaux Donckier, the event, strengthening relations with the Shanghai Business Exchange, was certainly worth the effort. “Strong ties with the Shanghai Diamond Exchange are of vital importance to the Antwerp Diamond sector.” says Donkier. The facts only confirm her statement. Last year alone, Antwerp exported 1,8 million carat of cut diamond to China and Hong Kong.
Working towards better cooperation
Off course, it wasn’t all glamour and parties. First and foremost, some important bilateral agreements were made with the Shanghai Business Exchange, to ensure better cooperation from this day forward. The mission was festively concluded with a ‘Diamond Night’. Business insiders seized the occasion to expand their network, mingling amongst their Chinese peers.
The event proved to be a formidable success thanks to the support of Silk Road Diamond, a Belgian-Chinese diamond company, supplying the diamonds for the fashion show. The company is set on enforcing the ties between Antwerp and China, in analogy with the Silk Road, that connected West and East centuries ago.
Antwerp & Diamond: 550 years of experience and counting
“Our greatest asset? That is 550 years of knowledge and experience. Antwerp is still known for its excellent quality, transparent trading and great prices.” Margaux Donckier expands on the subject. “The fact that Chinese merchants are eager to do business in Antwerp is very good for the Belgian diamond sector. A sector employing 6.600 people directly and 32.600 people more indirectly. Making diamond, Belgium’s most important export product outside of the EU.”