ABOVE: Ali Pastorini (third from right), WJH Senior Vice President, and Judy Meana (third from left), WJDH Vice President, flanked by ladies in traditional Panamanian dress, welcoming guests to the Second Latin American Diamond and Jewelry Week at the World Jewelry Hub yesterday.
The Second Latin American Diamond and Jewelry Week opened yesterday at the World Jewelry Hub in Panama City, in the presence of government and industry leaders, as well as buyers and suppliers of jewelry, diamonds and colored gemstones from more than 20 countries in Latin America and around the world.
The guest of honor at the opening ceremony was Nestor Gonzalez, Panama’s Vice Minister of Commerce. In his speech, he paid tribute to the World Jewelry Hub, which he said was contributing directly to the the development of the national and regional trade by initiating events that draw members of the business together. He invited the guests to learn and enjoy the attractions of Panama during their stay in the country.
Outlining the program of the Second Latin American Diamond and Jewelry Week, which includes both commercial sessions on the trading floor and in the offices of the World Jewelry Hub, as well as informational seminars and a premiere diamond and jewelry auction, Mahesh Khemlani, President of the World Jewelry & Diamond Hub, Panama, the diamond and gemstone bourse that anchors the World Jewelry Hub, stressed the key role that the three-day gathering can play in the jewelry and gemstone business in Latin America. “We hope that these unique events will consolidate the World Jewelry Hub as the destination of choice for all things related to diamonds, jewelry, precious stones and watches in the entire region,” he said.
The first seminar will take place at 9:00 AM today, Wednesday, June 22, and will feature an expert panel looking at the economic realities facing the industry in the region. The keynote address will be delivered by Jordi Pratt, the Principal Regional Economist for Central America, Panama, Dominican Republic and Mexico at the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, D.C.
A highlight of the week will be first Latin American Jewelry and Watches auction, which will take place this afternoon, June 22, starting at 2:00 PM. Featuring an array of some of the most valuable jewelry and timepieces ever to be placed on public sale in the region, it is being organized by JTD International, a member and resident of the World Jewelry Hub.
The second seminar, which will focus on the empowerment of women in the Latin American jewelry and gemstone sectors, will take place on Thursday, June 23, the third and final day of the buyers’ week. With the guest of honor being Maria Luisa Navarro, Panama’s Vice Minister for Multinational Affairs and Cooperation, some 50 women from more than 13 countries are scheduled to participate in the discussion, including Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Italy, Russia, Turkey, the United States, Venezuela and Panama. It will begin at 9:00 AM.
Among the Latin American industry leaders attending the Second Latin American Diamond and Jewelry Week are Miguel Cotero, past-president of the Camara de Joyería Jalisco in Mexico, and Mario Fontalvo, head of the Jewelry Cluster Initiatives of the Bogota Chamber of Commerce in Colombia.