Two world class diamond manufacturing firms are bracing themselves to open within a month in a bid to make Africa?s trail-blazing Diamond Trading Center a reality, the firms said Friday.
The Israeli giant, Moti Ganz Diamond Manufacturing?owned by Moti Ganz ? and Pluezenik Group, are to start operation between next week and the beginning of next month.
?The Pluezenik Group and Pluezenik Botswana (PTY) Ltd will be celebrating the opening of their factory on April 17,? the statement, released on Friday, said.
The high profile opening of the factory will be graced by President Festus Mogae.
The move is expected to be followed by Moti Ganz Diamond Manufacturing, which is owned by the President of the Israeli Diamond Council. Ganz told The Sunday Standard from his office in Tel Aviv, Israel on Friday that the factory would be open within weeks.
?Our last consignment is on its way to Gaborone and we hope that the delays ( which took place) will be dealt with in the next week,? he said.
Further, Moti Ganz Diamond Manufacturing Botswana?s Managing Director, Dayan Morphany, said they are planning to start their first production by May 1, 2007.
?We are starting our production on May 1, and we will be having 50 employees, soon to be increased to 400,? Morphany said.
The announcement by Ganz came at a time the Israeli diamond industry had just launched Itech system?now widely available in the diamond industry ? a new technology which is aimed at matching cheaper and faster diamond labour force in China.
The combination of the new technology and latest figures point out that labour cost in diamond cutting in the country is substantially down than previously thought.
It takes about P 20 to polish a carat in Botswana compared to P 12 in China but industry players said Botswana also offers guarantee of a consistent rough diamond supply compared to other major polishing centres around the world.
? I do not think that labour cost in China and India will remain low forever,? Ganz has said.
?The most important thing is to have rough ( diamonds) and this is one of the things which Botswana is prepared to offer to us. And then we can turn a lot of focus on manufacturing, marketing, branding and copyrighting of the jewellery,? he said.
On Friday, Ganz openly stated that it would be only polishing larger stones from one carat and upwards from its Botswana operation. The larger stones are the envy of the industry with each fetching between US $ 250,000- 300,000 as finished jewelry. The industry is being supported by its undying love from its best friends- women. Ganz has operations in a number of diamond shops in several international cities, such as New York, Tokyo and Beijing.
The opening of the next two factories will push the total number of diamond manufacturing industries in the country to seven out of the licensed 16. On Thursday, the Botswana Diamond Valuing Company?a subsidiary of Debswana- told a group of visiting American officials that it would have transformed into DTC Botswana by the third week of January next year.
Patrick Jacobs, General Manager of BDVC, said its 500 plus employees would have been by then moved to the new DTC Botswana building- along the road to Sir Seretse Khama International Airport.
The operation of the building will be preceded by the opening of the cutting center which is estimated to cost around US $ 250 million. Its completion is expected by the beginning of the second half of this year.