By Desie Heita
A delegation from Thailand, comprising of officials from Government and the Thai Gem and Jewelry Trades Association (TGJTA), is expected to visit Namibia next month to explore the possibility of buying Namibian diamonds directly from here.
Thailand has identified Namibia as a preferred supplier of diamonds and other precious and semi-precious gemstones to support its ever-growing jewellery-making industry, the TGJTA said in a statement.
“Direct sourcing from Namibia will not only help us to ensure raw material supplies but reduce production costs and thus increase our competitiveness in the global market,” said, Chief Executive Officer of Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair, Somchai Phornchindarak.
The TGJTA is a private-public sector association dedicated to serving Thailand’s gem and jewellery traders and manufacturers.
The gem and jewellery industry has remained one of Thailand’s top ten exporting industries over the years with exports in 2005 reaching over 3.0 billion US dollars.
The statement said Namibia was identified following a discussion between Deputy Prime Minister Mingkwan Sangsuwan and Namibian Ambassador to Thailand, Neville Melvin Gertze, about fostering economic ties between the two countries.
The statement said Namibia offers the potential to directly supply its abundant diamonds, gemstones like tourmalines, amethyst, topaz as well as quartz and gold which are needed by Thailand’s gems and jewellery industry.
Thailand also recognizes that Namibia offers opportunities in joint ventures and partnerships in diamond and precious-stone mining as well as polishing and jewellery making.
The delegation is expected to present a formal invitation to the Namibian miners of precious and semi-precious stones, diamond cutters and polishers, and jewellers to attend the Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair in September this year.
The TGJTA said the fair would present an ideal platform for international buyers to trade directly with Namibian companies, while Namibian companies will have a chance to meet with manufacturers of their choice.