Latin America’s first diamond exchange
In March 2014, Panama launched its USD 200 million Panama Gem & Jewelry Center. The facility will also house the Panama Diamond Exchange (PDE), which is expected to help Latin America’s jewellery retail business grow to more than USD 10 billion by 2017.
The idea is that the PDE will become a hub for the region, which is considered the world’s most untapped jewellery market. Panama was chosen as the base for the exchange due to its strategic location as home to one of the world’s major shipping lanes.
This is the 29th such market worldwide but the first in Latin America, a region that produces many precious gems, such as emeralds from Colombia. In the past, Latin American buyers have had to travel to the United States or Europe or buy expensive second-hand gems locally, as there was no diamond exchange in the region. Now, diamonds will be flown in from places like New York, Antwerp and Dubai.