By Surihe Gaomas WINDHOEK Namibia Stone Processing (NSP) has signed a deal that will see the local outfit exporting processed granite slabs worth N$1 million in the first year of operations to the USA. As demand for granite continues to grow, NSP has projected that there is so much potential in the US that it could increase its export revenue to between N$10 million and N$40 million annually. This development comes after the NSP signed a Memorandum of Understanding with US firm Bridgewater Marble and Granite Works based in New Jersey yesterday. The American partner specialises mainly in the importation, distribution, fabrication and installation of granite slabs from countries such as Brazil, India, Italy, China, Saudi Arabia, Australia and New Zealand. Through the deal NSP would now have a gateway to market its goods to the huge north-eastern area of the United States for the very first time. Addressing journalists at a press conference in the capital yesterday, Chief Executive Officer of the Namibia Stone Processing Company, Oscar Shigwana, said the deal is part of government’s calling for “value addition, job creation and industrialisation” of Namibian goods to the outside market. With its high quality and standard the country’s granite goods are favoured positively in the American market, thereby prompting Bridgewater’s representative Bob Foster to undertake a trip to the Omaruru-based Stone Processing Factory recently. “I was very much impressed when I visited the NSP factory and its mining quarries. They have a very good factory facility and are ahead of most of the previous facilities I have visited,” said Foster, adding that the deal allows them to give Namibian products a trial period of testing the Americans with the granite slabs there. It turns out that local granite with its colourful texture and quality is highly favoured in the US market and both Foster and Shigwana are optimistic that the venture will work positively. Although initial sales are set on a trial basis of N$1 million after a year of production, it is expected to swell to between N$10 and N$40 million annually as time progresses. This is the second purchase order from the American company and another one is set to follow in a couple of weeks. Foster reassured the media that the overwhelming Chinese market with their red type granite will have no impact on Namibia’s differently coloured granite stones which are favoured more in the US. “This is what sells, the yellow gold colour is a big favourite in the US market,” he added saying it is a higher priced material. NSP is a broad based manufacturing and processing venture involved in the high quality cutting and polishing of marble and granite stones into semi-finished and finished products. Ever since the plant became operational and was officially launched by President Hifikpeunye Pohamba on July 20 last year it has sought to seek new marketing partners for exporting its products. Besides this latest deal the American based partner is looking at other areas to invest in the country, like in the field of mining.
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