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Antwerp World Diamond Centre

October 24, 2011, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre and the Industrial Commercial Bank of China signed a Cooperation Framework Agreement in Beijing’s Great Hall, starting their cooperation in the field of diamond financing. Belgium's Crown Prince Philippe and ICBC Chairman Jiang Jianqing both witnessed the signing ceremony.

According to the agreement, ICBC will provide AWDC with professional first-class financial services. Through its global network and advanced IT system, ICBC will provide various services to the Antwerp diamond companies, such as trade and product financing, global cash management, bank card acceptance, Chinese Yuan-based international settlement, capital transaction and investment banking, etc.

 The AWDC will assist ICBC in entering the field of diamond financing and assist its Brussels Branch to obtain the required location, the necessary professional technology, people, equipment and information to support the launch of ICBC’s diamond financing activities. ICBC’s important global range of clients will be provided with high-quality and competitively priced diamond products.

After the signing ceremony, Belgian Crown Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde personally inaugurated the Antwerp Diamond Roadshow, launching a 10-day journey showcasing Antwerp diamonds in China.

During the 10 days, 15 Antwerp diamond enterprises will visit Beijing, Taiyuan, Jinan, Hangzhou and Guangzhou. They will exhibit high-quality polished diamonds, valued around $200 million, and give China’s most important jewelers and investors the opportunity to establish direct contact with Antwerp member companies. ICBC, as the sole financial service provider for AWDC and its participating member diamond companies during the roadshow, will provide various flexible services for this event.

The city of Antwerp is the world’s capital of diamonds. It has the most renowned diamond manufacturing technology and is the main hub for natural diamonds in the world. According to statistics, out of every 10 rough diamonds, eight are sent to Antwerp for further manufacturing, and 80 percent of global diamond trading is conducted in Antwerp.

Over the past few years, the Antwerp diamond industry has played an increasingly important role in the Chinese-Belgian trade relationship. Diamonds represent 25 percent of all the trade between China and Belgium.

AWDC is the largest diamond organization in the world, representing 1,800 excellent diamond company members. The Belgian diamond industry reports an annual turnover of $45 billion.

Globally, ICBC is the commercial bank with the highest market capitalization value, highest revenue and highest clients’ saving value. Cooperation of the two strong partners to jointly extend diamond financing business will not only bring excellent services to people and companies in China and Belgium, but it also will have an important facilitating role to further deepen the Chinese-Belgian trade relationship.