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Delegation to hold talks over directly sourcing diamonds

Mar '08
A delegation of buyers from India, headed by Jairam Ramesh, Minister of State for commerce, will be visiting Namibia and Angola this week for establishing a system for directly sourcing diamonds from the continent.

This move will help India reduce its dependence on European middlemen for supplying diamonds. The six day visit, starting from tomorrow will include representatives from Gems and Jewelry Export Promotion Council(GJEPC), State Trading Corporation and Minerals and Metals trading Corporation (MMTC).

In the coming few months, the minister also has plans to visit other diamond producing countries like South Africa and Botswana.

India is expected to import about US $10 billion worth rough diamonds in the present year 2007-08, while exports are likely to touch $14 billion in the same period.

Recognized as the largest importer of rough diamonds and exporter of cut and polished gems, India occupies nearly 90 percent of the world market.

On the other hand, diamond producing countries like Botswana accounts for 25 percent of the production followed by Russia at 22 percent, Canada and South Africa, both at 12 percent, Angola and Namibia with 10 and 6 percent respectively.

Direct sourcing of diamonds from supplier countries is bound to help India in attaining its long term interest.

Besides, doing away with middlemen will help India save a lot of capital which can be reutilized for importing more stones.

The ministry has urged all the major diamond producing countries to directly sell the stones to India ensuring to collaborate actively in helping them move up the value chain.

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