On March.31.2014, in the presence of China's President Xi Jinping, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) and the Shanghai Diamond Exchange (SDE) signed a cooperation agreement, outlining their cooperation with respect to the development of an exclusive commercial and trade relationship. The signing of such an agreement, in the framework of President Xi Jinping’s first visit to Europe, marks the key importance of the diamond trade between Antwerp and China.
The signing of the cooperation agreement by Fischler, AWDC's CEO Ari Epstein and SDE's president Lin Qiang, is a testament to the resolve to deepen the trade relationship, by entering into a long term partnership, geared towards increasing bilateral trade. The agreement commits both parties to increasing trade of diamonds between China and Belgium by at least 10 percent annually, over three years. In addition, it encompasses cooperation in exchanging market information and diamond knowledge, encouraging free trade of diamonds and cooperating in the field of research and development, especially concerning preserving and defending the integrity of the natural diamond pipeline.