India, along with Angola, the European Commission (EC) and China, were the top diamond trading partners for Dubai in the first six months of 2008, jointly accounting for around 85 per cent of total trade volumes.
Over 87 per cent of Dubai's rough diamond exports were to India and the countries of the EC, while Dubai's exports to China increased by 950 per cent, according to a statement issued by the Dubai Diamond Exchange (DDE), a subsidiary of Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMMC).
"We have witnessed healthy growth in bilateral trade with various countries, reflecting the growing confidence in the trading infrastructure and opportunities offered by Dubai," Ahmed Bin Sulayem, DMCC executive chairman and deputy chairman of DDE, said in the statement.
He added that the the DMCC had signed agreements with People's Government of Panyu District in China, and Gems and Jewellery Trade Association of China (GAC), earlier this year for promotion of jewellery trade between both countries, with a special focus on diamonds and coloured stones.
During the first six months of 2008, rough diamond imports to Dubai grew by 23 per cent to reach $1.15 billion compared to $937 million during the same period last year.
This was mainly driven by high volumes imported from Angola (75 per cent) and a 138 per cent rise in imports from China.
"While exports in terms of carats grew marginally in the first half of 2008, the price of diamond rose by 10 per cent and helped push the overall trade to high levels," DDE chief executive Youri Steverlynck said.
He said DDE was planning to hold rough diamond sales weeks every month, starting from August 24, 2008.
Diamonds traded via the DDE during the proposed sales weeks will include those produced from various mines across the world.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a member of the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme, which ensures that the rough diamonds imported to and exported from the UAE have been mined in a legitimate manner, the DDE statement said.