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Israeli Government to Underwrite Training of Diamond Polishers

אוגוסט 11, 2009. Rapaport News - http://www.diamonds.net/

Progress made toward government aid for credit to diamond industry

  
RAPAPORT... Press Release - Jerusalem, Israel, August 11, 2009: At a meeting with the leaders of the Israeli diamond industry yesterday, Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, Israel’s minister of industry, trade and labor, said that he would help finance a professional training program for diamond polishers. The ministry program, to be implemented in 2009-2010, will train 100 unemployed individuals to become polishers on the level of “Excellent.”

Diamond leaders said that there is currently a shortage of “Excellent” diamond polishers in the Israeli industry, and that this step would increase local production by hundreds of millions of dollars. They said that all of the workers would be hired by local manufacturers.

Minister Ben-Eliezer said that this program is part of a package of measures to aid the local diamond industry, which has been hit hard by the world economic crisis. The minister said that he has asked the Ministry of Finance to find specific solutions to help the diamond industry, and that progress has been made in the area of credit with the Finance Ministry and the Israeli banks.

Moti Ganz, chairman of the Israel Diamond Institute (IDI) group of companies and president of the Israel Diamond Manufacturers Association (IsDMA), noted, “We view the training of “Excellent” diamond polishers as of great importance. This program will expand the know-how and capabilities of the industry, and will increase the export of Israeli diamonds, which are known for their high quality.”

Avi Paz, Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) president, thanked Minister Ben-Eliezer for his efforts on behalf of the industry. “The government must take every step in order to assist the industry during this difficult time. This is the first step in a package of aid that is needed urgently by the Israeli diamond industry. Our highest priority is to receive government-backed credit. The world economic crisis has seriously affected the industry here, as it has around the world. We see that the governments of India and Belgium have aided their industries with billions of dollars of credit with government guarantees. It is important for Israel to maintain its leading position in the world, and for that government aid is essential.”

Eli Avidar, IDI managing director, said, “We are pleased with our cooperation with the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor, headed by Minister Ben-Eliezer, in the area of professional training. We are certain that this cooperation will bring new blood into the industry and new opportunities for employment.”

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