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Chirag Shah

• Name: Chirag Shah
• Company Name: Yashvi Diamonds BV
• Years of Involvement in the Trade: I am already 30 years active in the diamond industry. Yashvi Diamonds BV was established in year 2014
• Your Age: I was born in 1976.
• I am very active in the diamond business community, and I intend to continue contributing from my time, energy, and professional know-how to promote the Antwerp diamond industry.

What are your three priorities within the board, and how would you approach them?

first of all, I would like to restore our industry’s image. The past few years, the reputation of our industry has suffered a lot which had a negative impact on our diamond sales, our work and also our well-being. Restoring our image is the highest priority for me.

Seondly, I would like the reorganize the AWDC management. I aim to create a more efficient, transparent and a more focused management team to ensure that available resources are directed towards the right priorities. I think the engagement of HR specialists, who could help with the selection of potential candidates and can help with the improvement of the performance of the management team, is necessary. My goal is to create a stronger advocacy for the diamond industry within the Belgian Government, Parliament, and the European Union.

finally, I would focus on accountability and inclusivity through an open dialogue with my voters. Our community faces numerous administrative challenges, from lack of access to the banking sector, to work permits and visas for all stakeholders. We will do everything we can to streamline procedures and making business operations smoother for everyone.


As representatives of a segment of the market, how would you stay in touch with your constituents/voters?

I commit myself to being available to hear my constituents’ expectations, the difficulties they are experiencing, and their needs. I will do this in a transparent and proactive way. I will hold regular meetings, open debates, and provide training and seminars for all sizes of businesses and players in our trade. I am in direct contact with hundreds of members of the community on a weekly basis which makes me able to listen and answer issues the whole time.

How are you tethered to Antwerp?

I have a very active social network within the diamond industry of Antwerp. During the past few years, I was constantly involved in event organization, in discussions about issues to be addressed to other institutes, and in the support of specific individuals who were experiencing difficulties.
I have been involved with the Antwerp diamond community in the past 30 years. I am an active member of the boards of AIA and JCCA. Furthermore I am involved in the organization of sport events like cricket and more and I have already hosted Belgian ministers and other prominent officials of the Belgian administration as well as in my office as at home.


What are Antwerp's assets?

One of the most important assets is the location where Antwerp is based: at the heart of Europe, on a 40 minutes’ drive from Brussels, Europe’s capital. When you compare Antwerp with Dubai, our main trade competitor, there are many issues that must be leveraged. Antwerp is part of a democratic, open, liberal and advanced European country (part of the OECD). As such, Belgium follows strictly the G7 sanctions and AML regulations which sets it apart from Dubai. Obviously, compliance issues must be handled very efficiently, without interrupting the trade. Combining compliance with efficient institutes will lead Antwerp to a unique position that could bring back a lot of the market share that we’ve lost. In addition, the current real-estate infrastructure of Antwerp is unique in a global view. Nothing beats the Antwerp combination of thousands of offices in a secured environment with the trading halls of the Antwerp diamond exchanges close by. Adding to this the combination of the centuries long human expertise of trading, polishing and evaluation of diamonds and all peripheral diamond services available, with companies like Sarin, OGI, IGI, special acid cleaning, shipping companies and many more additional services.

What is the best-kept secret of Antwerp?

Many players in the diamond industry are not familiar with the rich history of Antwerp, and the important cultural and political heritage, that started already in the 16th and 17th centuries. Rubens was not only a painter but an important politician who frequented the British, French and other European royal families. The Rubenshuis museum, MAS museum, and the Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Antwerp, are only some of the Antwerp gems, that the diamond professional tourist must be aware and visit.