President Geingob of Namibia and Mr. Tom Alweendo, Minister of Mines and Energy, visited the AWDC (Antwerp World Diamond Centre). The visit included a tour within the Diamond Office, where the president had the opportunity to inspect a shipment of Namibian goods. The high-level delegation also met with AWDC leadership and industry stakeholders. AWDC looks forward to continuing its good relationship with the Namibian government and discussing future opportunities.
Namibia is an important trade partner of the Antwerp diamond industry. The Southern African nation ranks as the sixth largest diamond producer in the world. In 2020, the country produced over 1.5 million carats, valued at US$ 720,4 million. The majority of its rough diamond production comes from marine sources: diamonds that are found on the ocean floor as a result of river movements and ancient tidal basin flows.
In terms of trade between Antwerp and Namibia, diamonds play a significant role . In 2021, direct bilateral diamond trade amounted to over US$ 133 million. AWDC is looking forward to continuing this trade relationship and discussing how Antwerp can do more for the Namibian diamond industry, by maximizing the value of Namibia’s precious resources via the Antwerp market.
Ari Epstein – CEO AWDC:” We are always delighted to show our valued partners how the Antwerp diamond trade works and to explain the reasons for its success. Through innovation, implementing the highest standards of due diligence, and creating a comfortable business environment, we 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 neighboring 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.”
AWDC recently published its year results for 2021, with total trade amounting to more than 37 billion dollars, 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.
Tom Neys – Spokesperson:“We think the Namibian government is looking for more growth grow and to create more value with their diamond production and rightly so. That’s why this is visit is so important, so that we show the president why Antwerp is able to consistantly 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.”
The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), is an industry-established foundation whose mission is to serve and support the diamond trade in Antwerp, the world’s leading diamond trade hub. AWDC is the coordinating body and the official representative of the Antwerp diamond industry, and as such is recognized internationally as the host, spokesperson and intermediary for the Belgian diamond community. In this capacity, AWDC liaises with governments on behalf of the Belgian diamond industry, and actively promotes support for the diamond industry at home and abroad.
84% of all rough diamonds and 50% of all polished diamonds pass through Antwerp. Diamonds represent 5% of the total Belgian exports and 15% of all Belgian exports outside the EU, making diamonds the most important export product outside the EU.