Rio Tinto has confirmed that China will play a key role in the longterm sales and marketing strategy of its diamonds portfolio.
Speaking at the 2010 China Diamond Conference in Shanghai, Rio Tinto general manager for diamond sales and marketing, Jean-Marc Lieberherr, said “diamonds have a small but important position in Rio Tinto’s diverse portfolio and attract much attention because of their growth potential”.
“We see China playing an important role in that growth.”
Lieberherr said China has entered a fast growth stage which will change the face of the diamond jewellery market.
“The emerging middle class demographic in China is an ideal entry point for affordable diamond jewellery,” he said.
“Increasingly Chinese consumers will be seeking to differentiate themselves through fashion and fashion jewellery and this will be the driver of future growth in retail diamond jewellery demand.”
Rio Tinto recently launched its strategic partnership with leading Chinese retailer, Chow Tai Fook, to develop a fashion jewellery category, separate to the existing bridal market in China.