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Antwerp Trade Seeks Stronger Ties with Angola

May 13, 2021 7:21 AM   By Rapaport News
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Industry leaders in Antwerp visited Angola this week in search of closer trade relations with the up-and-coming diamond-producing nation.

The African country sells only a fraction of its rough diamonds to Belgium, with 90% of goods reportedly going to Dubai. Some 20 CEOs from Antwerp-based diamond companies met with local officials to explore a stronger collaboration, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) said Wednesday.

“Producers across the globe bring their rough diamonds to Antwerp first, because we can guarantee maximum revenue and true market value, yet barely 10% of Angola’s rough diamonds find their way to Antwerp’s open market today,” said Chaim Pluczenik, president of the AWDC, which organized the delegation.

Angolan President João Lourenço visited Antwerp in 2018 shortly after his election, pledging to reform the country’s diamond sector. The government introduced a new sales policy later that year, opening the market up to a wider range of buyers.

The reforms “create a more transparent and sustainable diamond industry in Angola,” the AWDC acknowledged this week.

“We are here to talk about how Antwerp can contribute and ensure Angola reaps the full benefits of this precious resource in full transparency,” Pluczenik added.

The delegation met with Diamantino Azevedo, minister for mineral resources and petroleum, as well as with heads of Endiama and Sodiam, Angola’s state-owned diamond companies.

Angola’s rough-diamond production fell to 9.4 million carats in 2020 — from 9.4 million carats in 2019 — because of the Covid-19 pandemic, Reuters reported earlier this year. The country aims to increase output to 10.1 million carats in 2022, the news site added.

In December, officials from the Indian diamond industry held a virtual meeting with Angolan counterparts in a bid to upgrade relations, as the African country only exports a tiny proportion of its rough to India.

Image: Chaim Pluczenik (left) and Diamantino Azevedo. (AWDC)
Tags: Angola, Antwerp, Antwerp World Diamond Centre, AWDC, Belgium, Chaim Pluczenik, Diamantino Azevedo, Dubai, ENDIAMA, India, mining, Rapaport News, rough, Rough Diamonds, SODIAM
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