Guangdong is the diamond headquarters in China, just like Surat in India.
Surat city in Gujarat India is the main center for polishing diamonds in the world. However this may soon change, probably due to the recession changing the landscape in the diamond industry. Surat the worlds top diamond cutting center is now facing severe problems due to the global economic downturn.
In late 2008 and early 2009 many diamond processing units have been closed and over 500,000 people lost their jobs. Lately there has been some recovery in the diamond processing industry in Surat as evidenced by some of the companies recalling their laid off workers.
In contrast to the situation in Surat, Guangdong has a thriving diamond processing business. Only a decade ago China was nothing in the diamond business. However at a slow and steady pace China is grabbing all the business. For the past 5 years China has been the no.2 country in diamond processing.
Very soon China may be the leading diamond processor in the world, thanks to its government policies and increasing domestic demand. Guangdong has about 80 diamond processing companies employing about 60,000 people. This is in contrast with Surat where about 1 million people are involved in the industry and over 2000 units have gone bankrupt.
The global economic downturn does not appear to affect China and the diamond processing companies are even planning to recruit more employees.
Projected growth indicates that by 2015 China’s diamond processing potential could grow to 21.3% where as India’s diamond processing business may fall to 49% of the global from the present 57%.
China is also the 4 th largest diamond consumer in the world.
The skills exhibited by the Chinese technicians are far superior than their Indian counterparts. Because of the very high quality of the finished products many foreign importers of diamonds are sourcing diamonds from China rather than India. This has also encouraged several Indian firms to set up unites in China.