GJEPC, BDB host delegation from Botswana

 GJEPC, BDB host delegation from BotswanaIndia and Botswana shook hands, as the Gem Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) and the Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB) played host to a delegation from Botswana. The meeting took place at the Bharat Diamond Bourse Complex in Mumbai on October 26th 2015, reports say.

The delegation from Botswana was led by its Vice President, HE Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi, and interacted with the representatives of leading member companies of GJEPC and BDB. Praveenshankar Pandya, Chairman of the GJEPC began the meeting appreciating Botswana as the ‘largest producers of rough diamonds’ and India as the ‘largest manufacturing centre’, sharing a common interest in the diamond industry’s future being protected and in its prosperity, as per reports. The visitors were briefed about the Indian manufacturing centre through an audio visual presentation, post which Mr. Pandya delivered a presentation on the Indian gems and jewellery industry, its salient points and achievements, and growth as a leading centre today polishing 14 out of every 15 stones set in jewellery worldwide. He also discussed issues prevalent in the diamond industry today. He mentioned the difficulty to ‘survive’ owing to ‘ high rough prices and weak demand for polished and weakened prices, profitability’, one of the major deterrents to the industry today, reports suggest.

Speaking of a need for balance between supply of rough diamonds and its demand, he spoke of the Indian diamond industry holding inventory of around US$ 10 billion within Indian and US$ 5 billion in its global offices, which would be over many months due to the time involved in manufacturing, setting and marketing a diamond, whereas the trade centers have inventory for a lesser amount of time.

The Botswana delegation was also briefed upon the BDB and the newly set up Special Notified Zone, by Anoop Mehta, President, BDB, as per reports.

The HE, Vice President of Botswana stated that though Botswana is aware of the Indian diamond industry, he was his amazed at the information on the Indian diamond industry, its strength and the number of people it involves delivered to him on the Indian industry, stating it surpassed his perceptions. He mentioned that Botswana views India as ‘a very, very important partner. And when you value somebody, you keep them engaged perpetually,” as per reports. He also expressed the understanding of the difficulties faced by the diamond industry and would respond to India’s point of view appropriately, as the recovery of the diamond industry is in the interest of all. He also mentioned that Botswana would not like to see ‘anyone in the value chain getting hurt or losing money. Your pain is our pain. Your survival is our survival,’ he mentioned as per reports. A dialogue and open, transparent and honest discussions were necessary according to him.

The Minister for Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, the Hon’ble Eric Molale, spoke of the need for a consultation between all stakeholders in the diamond industry for all to be on the same thought process. He cited the looming threat of synthetic diamonds at a time of economic strain. He further mentioned that Botswana is open to ‘doing business and we would like to keep on improving the value chain. We will continue to be ready to interact,’ reports say.

He further added that pricing mechanism since 2011 should be openly discussed and ultimately defend the ‘natural diamond industry,’, as per reports.

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