Geingob seeks to expand Antwerp diamond trade
President HE Dr Geingob paid a visit to the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) in Belgium where he inspected a shipment of Namibian diamonds and discussed future business opportunities.
The high-level delegation, which included Mines and Energy Minister, Tom Alweendo had meetings between business and diamond industry leaders in Antwerp, the world’s leading diamond trade hub.
“I am truly honoured to be here at this world-class facility, which showcases our diamonds. To hear how well-appreciated our diamonds are is something that should make every Namibian proud. As a government, we believe strongly in a win-win partnership in a diamond industry that generates revenue and creates jobs for the Namibian people,” Geingob said.
The AWDC recently published its year results for 2021, with total trade amounting to more than US$37 billion, confirming its position as the largest and most important diamond trading hub in the world. This first post-pandemic result exceeded the 2019 figures, pushing the diamond trade back in an upward growth path.
Ari Epstein, the CEO of AWDC said through innovation, implementing the highest standards of due diligence, and creating a comfortable business environment, they succeed in building a robust home for diamond producers, traders, manufacturers, and retail.
“Antwerp demonstrates time and again that it is the most consistent, high-performing market for diamond trade, rough diamonds in particular. In the past two years, we saw how producing countries and miners, such as the Okavango Diamond Company of neighbouring Botswana, deliberately chose to start selling their rough diamonds in Antwerp. By doing so, they were not only able to keep operations going, but more importantly, they realized a much welcome premium on sales results,” Epstein said.
Tom Neys, AWDC spokesperson said because the Namibian government is looking for more growth grow and to create more value with their diamond production, the visit is important so that the company shows the president why Antwerp can consistently offer top prices.
“We manage to sell rough diamonds at a 35% mark up in comparison to other trade hubs. Other diamond producing countries like Botswana have already adapted their trade strategy and started to export more to Antwerp because they saw the same remarkable benefits in their sales results. Showing the goods physically is essential. Our message to the president is clear: Talk to other countries that work with Antwerp, like Botswana and you’ll see that you create more value with the same trade today,” Neys said.