New Delhi: India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that the diamond bourse in Surat "will serve as a hub for trade, innovation and collaboration, further boosting India's economy and creating employment opportunities."
Modi made the statement as the Surat Diamond Bourse, the world's largest office building, gets ready to receive its first occupants.
Ninety percent of the world's diamonds are cut, crafted, polished, processed and finished in Surat. Vallabhbhai Patel, Chairman of the Surat Diamond Bourse, said the new facility is projected to have an annual turnover of US$27 billion.
The Bourse is a not-for-profit organisation conceptualised to accommodate buyers, manufacturers and sellers of diamonds under one roof and presaged as a global hub for all diamond trading activities.
It is part of the Gujarat state government's Diamond Research And Mercantile (DREAM) City project. The International Institute of Diamond Grading and Research is part of that project.
With space for 4,700 offices across 7.1 million square feet of floor space, the Surat Diamond Bourse was built at a cost of US$388 million over a four-year period. The Bourse, designed to accommodate 65,000 workers, has 131 elevators.
Modi said the Bourse "showcases the dynamism and growth of Surat's diamond industry. It is also a testament to India's entrepreneurial spirit."