De Beers Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Philippe Mellier has applauded the relocation of the company’s international Sightholder sales activity from London to Gaborone in 2013 as a stimulant to economic activity, elevating the country to one of the world’s leading rough diamond trading destinations.
Mellier said from London that the 40-year cordial relationship forged between De Beers and Botswana had resulted in the foundation of a success story in the diamond industry.
“We would like to bring sightholders on board as we have been listening to their views and capitalising on opportunities to strengthen our future relationship, especially between the diamond industry and consumers as the value-adding component,” he said.
Celebrating the company’s first sight of the year on relationships, Mellier revealed that the partnership epitomised the diamond industry’s contribution to the meaningful economic growth and development, encouraging De Beers to continue investment as a growth factor.
The CEO said diamond jewellery had a bright outlook and would continue on the growth, given the aggregate demand from the US economy, especially during holiday periods.
China was also exhibiting healthy signs, with a positive outlook for sales around the Chinese New Year and expectations for a continuation of strong economic growth at around the same level seen in 2013.
“However, despite solid prospects for India in 2014, there remain some concerns about inflation and currency volatility in the short term,” Mellier cautioned.
Debswana contributes around 30 percent of Botswana’s gross domestic product, 50 percent of its government’s revenues, and is the country’s main foreign exchange generator and largest private employer, with 95 percent of staff made up of Botswana citizens.