Tuesday, July 29, 2014

(HERALD ZW) Latest: Antwerp pins future on Zim gems
January 28,

Sanctions also contributed towards the opaque nature of transactions in the trade of Marange diamonds

Harare – The Antwerp Diamond World Centre (AWDC) said on Tuesday it is pinning its long term survival on Zimbabwe, a key emerging producer in the world.

The Belgium based AWDC, which currently ranks as the largest diamond trading hub, is facing increasing competition from other players such as Dubai, Mumbai (India) and Tel Aviv (Israel).

AWDC said in its 2013 report that its future would be secured through cementing relations with countries such as Zimbabwe.

“This long term strategy is also designed to bear fruit over the next coming years, for example through further intensifying of the trade relationship with Zimbabwe, which will, according to experts, account for at least a quarter of world diamond production over the next decade,” AWDC said.

Zimbabwe successfully sold about 300 000 carats on the Belgium market in December last year for $10.5 million.

The country is targeting to go on the market for a second sale in February.

Selling of the diamonds through Antwerp is expected to enhance transparency in tracing revenue earnings and followed lifting of sanctions on Zimbabwean diamond mining companies by the European Union.

Russian and Canadian firms, AWDC said, would also be keys in securing its future.

To ward off competition, AWDC said it would continue to explore options to make the market the most viable as well as push for a level playing field.

AWDC said it traded goods worth $55 billion last year after recording an eight percent increase in rough diamond trade and four percent increase in polished gem sales.

The 2013 annual figures are in line with the trade analysis of the past decade, once again confirming Antwerp’s leadership as the world’s first and foremost diamond trading hub. New Ziana

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