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Diamond businessmen contemplate winding up China operations

The crackdown on 21 Indians in China for alleged diamond smuggling has led many Surat-based diamond firms to consider either a reduction or shutdown of their operations in Shenzhen and return back to India.

The crackdown on 21 Indians in China for alleged diamond smuggling has led many Surat-based diamond firms to consider either a reduction or shutdown of their operations in Shenzhen and return back to India.

Several diamond businessmen who had planned to expand their business in China are now doing a rethink,while awaiting the developments in the case involving the detention of the 21 Surat-based diamond businessmen.

Incidentally,even 10 days after their detention they have neither been arrested nor slapped with charges. The Ministry of External Affairs is now trying to find out the details of the detained persons and see whether they have received any legal assistance or not.

Sources in the diamond industry said many diamond businessmen had expanded their business at Shenzhen in China.

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Surat Diamond Association (SDA) vice-president Dinesh Nawadia said: “We have come to know that many diamond businessmen of Surat,who had outlets at Shenzhen in China,have decided to reduce or shutdown their operations. The demand for diamonds will remain and those interested will come down to India or they will have talks with the diamond manufacturers or traders for business.”

SDA president Rohit Mehta said: “We cannot come to conclusion at this moment,but the Chinese government should build confidence with India over this issue. If they fail to do so the diamond business will be affected.”

Jivraj Dharukawala,a diamond exporter,who has a diamond jewellery factory in China,said: “It is immature to say anything at this moment,but if they are convicted,then matters will get difficult. The Indian businessman will have to wind up their business in China and return to India. We are also thinking of constricting our business in China as we face difficulty there,mainly in matters of language.”

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Manji Patel of Bhavani Gems said: “I was planning to make a trip to China in the next two months for setting up a diamond business there. But I have now decided against it. Many of my friends in the industry have come to a similar conclusion to reduce the extent of business in China.”

First published on: 19-01-2010 at 10:40:12 pm
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