Also, for the first time, polished diamonds processed in the world's biggest diamond cutting and polishing centre, Surat, would be directly flown to the newly opened PDE.
About 15-20 Indian diamond and jewellery firms like Rosy Blue, Kiran Gems, Diarough (NV), Bhavani Gems, Interjewel, Jewelex, M Suresh, Niru Group, etc have purchased office space at the PDE and the upcoming World Jewellery Hub (WJH) to cater to the Latin American market.
These companies are joined by over 30 other companies from Israel, Belgium, United States, Italy and Latin America, to make up what already is the largest concentration of diamond and jewelry specialists in all of American continent.
Pankaj Parekh, vice-chairman, Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), who represented India at the inauguration of PDE told TOI, "The diamond bourse and jewellery centre in Panama is set to provide a major boost to the Indian diamond manufacturing centre. Until now, the Latin American market was isolated due to the absence of bourse, but now the diamonds and jewellery from India could directly reach to the consumers and buyers there."
Vallabh Lakhani, chairman of Kiran Gems said, "We want to tap the opportunity to penetrate into the Latin American market. The jewellery market is expected to reach at $10 billion in the next two years."
A lack of diamond bourse forced the Latin American buyers to travel to US and Europe to buy polished diamonds to cater its $8 billion worth of diamond jewellery market.
The entire PDE complex is located in the Vaguil Free Zone, which was established by an act of Panama's Parliament for the benefit of the international gem and jewelry trade, and exempts transactions conducted within its area from payments of customs duties and taxes, and corporations registered in the Free Zone from paying company tax.