Diamond Trade from South Africa Gets Easier for Surat Merchants
Rough diamonds from South Africa will directly reach traders of Surat and Mumbai as per the agreement.
Diamond traders from Surat can now start a direct trade of rough diamonds with South Africa. The Surat Diamond Association (SEA) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with South African government in Johannesburg in this regard.
The tie-up came after South African businessman of Indian origin, Mohammed Amir Mirza, who hails from Kosamba village in Surat district, took this initiative. A delegation of diamond merchants from Surat, led by SEA secretary Kiritibhai Shah, visited South Africa last week after being invited by Mirza. Mirza is the founder of Indian-African Trade and Investment Promotion and a special adviser in the Black Business Chamber of South Africa.
Rough diamonds from the mines of South Africa will now directly reach the traders of Surat and Mumbai as per the MOU, which was signed by Mosebenzi Joseph Zwane, the minister of mineral resources of the Republic of South Africa, Sipho Manese, the chairperson of South African Diamond and Precious Metals Regulator, and Mirza.
Until now, the rough diamonds of South Africa reached India through different countries of Europe and through Dubai. “Due to this, their price was high. But, with the direct trade, there will be a price drop of around 12 to 15 per cent,” Shah said, according to the Indian Express. He added that they will form a company to source rough diamonds from South Africa.
“We will also do a survey of 300 diamond traders in Surat to find out their requirements in terms of quality and quantity. We will again visit South Africa with the report,” he added.
Traders interested in starting manufacturing units in South Africa will also get visa support, along with logistic facilities and other services from the government.
While South Africa is one of the major exporters of rough diamonds in the world, with over 60 per cent of stones coming from its mines, Surat is equally integral in the diamond business. It is a major diamond polishing hub, and eight out of 10 rough stones produced in the world are cut and polished here.