Mumbai--Next week, key diamond industry leaders, and reportedly even Russian President Vladimir Putin, are slated to attend a conference in India that will address challenges facing the industry today. 

Organized by India’s Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council, the conference is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 11 and Friday, Dec. 12 in New Delhi. 

According to a schedule published by the GJEPC, the first day will focus on branding, marketing and retailing of diamonds. Rio Tinto’s Jean Marc Lieberherr and De Beers’ Stephen Lussier will be among those on a panel addressing marketing diamonds from the miner’s perspective.  

In another panel, Oded Edelman of online retailer James Allen will join Wong siu-Kee Kent from Chow Tai Fook and others for a discussion on excellence in jewelry retailing. 

The third session of that first day will focus on generic promotion of diamonds--which has been lacking since De Beers pulled back as its share of the world’s rough diamonds dwindled--and include an address by Alex Popov, chairman and CEO of the World Diamond Mark Foundation. The World Diamond Mark is the global marketing effort for the stones launched at the 35th World Diamond Congress held in Mumbai in 2012.

The second day of the conference will focus on financing, with presentations by representatives from ABN Amro and Standard Chartered, as well as a panel on finding solutions to current issues that impact the trade.

The GJEPC said both Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Putin are expected to attend the conference’s inaugural function on Thursday morning. According to The Times of India, Putin is making his annual trip to India next week

A full schedule and more information on the conference is available on

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