ArmInfo. Strong traditions of lapidary production are being revived in Armenia. On December 2, on the territory of the headquarters of the former Sirius factory in the city of Abovyan, Kotayk region, the opening of the diamond processing plant of "A.D.M. Diamonds" took place. The ceremony was attended by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.
The company A.D.M. Diamonds was founded in 2017. Earlier there was small production with an area of approximately 250 sq.m on the territory of the enterprise. Investments in expansion of production to 3600 sq.m are estimated at about 3.5 million US dollars. Raw materials - rough diamonds - are sourced from Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates. As part of the investment program, the company will create 700 jobs. At the same time, the company intends to expand further. So, it is planned in 2020 to bring export volumes to $ 100 million.
Earlier several enterprises operated in Armenia, the largest of which is "Shoghakn" also located in Abovyan, which employed 1800 people. In the 2000s, due to the dramatic revaluation of the dram, from an average of 560 to 310 drams per dollar, the work of lapidary enterprises became unprofitable. During this time, many professional cutters left the country and now the personnel problem is extremely acute. It should be noted that in the first half of 2019, the volume of diamond exports from Armenia decreased by 17.7% per annum, against the 8.2% decline a year earlier. According to the RA Customs Service, during the reporting period, Armenia exported 101.2 thousand carats of diamonds, the customs value of which decreased by 33.5% per annum to $ 28.5 million. The diamonds are mainly exported to the UAE (59.2%), Russia (Armenia 15.8%), Belgium (8.5%), USA (8.3%), Israel (4.5%), Canada (2.8%), and to a lesser extent - India, Thailand and Georgia.
Thus, as follows from the FinExpertiza report, over the previous three years, China has remained the undisputed leader in terms of imports of precious stones, precious metals and products from them into Russia. However, by the end of 2019, it will apparently yield this position to Armenia. In the first eight months, jewelry worth a total of $ 140.9 million was imported from Armenia, while only $ 61.8 million was imported from China. Manly precious metals ($ 95.9 million) and diamonds ($ 33, 2 million) are exported from Armenia.
At the same time, according to the Armenian customs, an uptrend was recorded in the line of import of products from the lapidary industry: in quantitative terms, supply volumes increased in the first half of 2019 by 58.6% per annum (against the 7.5% growth over the same period in 2018) . During the reporting period, 416.2 thousand carats of rough diamonds worth $ 76.6 million (with an annual decline of 3.4%) was imported. Diamond raw materials are imported to Armenia from Hong Kong (45.7%), India (20.4%), United Arab Emirates (18.5%), Switzerland (5%), Belgium (3%), Canada (2.8%), Israel (1.4%), Thailand (0.3%), South Africa (0.2%), as well as the USA, Germany, and Russia. To note for comparison that in the first half of 2018, Armenia exported 122.9 thousand carats of diamonds in total worth $ 42.9 million, and imported 262.5 thousand carats of diamonds with a total value of $ 79.3 million.