HARARE – Zimbabwe has the potential to produce diamonds worth US$5 billion annually, leading investors who are coming into the country, with more than 500 years in the field, have said.
After meeting President Mnangagwa in Brussels yesterday, chief executive officer of the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) Mr Ari Epstein said the future for Zimbabwe was exciting, especially as the country now had an investor-friendly environment under the leadership of the President.
“Diamonds are a good store of value in cases where we have pandemics like Covid-19, so we believe that the future looks bright for diamond producing countries and we are really looking forward to the country of Zimbabwe to increase its production in the future”, Mr Epstein said.
He said if the country doubled its current output Zimbabwe could be producing diamonds worth between US$4 and US$5 billion annually.
“From what we have discussed with the miners, we can easily go to $4 billion or $5 billion a year, of course, we need the right equipment to do so, diamonds are a symbol of love and in Zimbabwe that has been the case in its extraction, so I don’t see any problem. The future looks bright because the value of diamonds is increasing. There is a huge demand for diamonds,” he said.
Asked when AWDC will visit Zimbabwe, Mr Epstein, who was full of praise for the country’s hospitality and tourism attractions, said they will be coming this year.
With huge potential in the diamond sector, Zimbabwe is already on course to surpass its US$12 billion mining economy by 2025 and its recent election as the vice-chair of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme gives the country a chance to shine bright like diamonds as it moves towards Vision 2030 to become an upper middle class economy.
Meanwhile, the President also met Siemens Healthineers senior vice president Dr Bernt Bieber whose company is eyeing to invest in the country’s health sector with a team of experts expected this year.
“We are looking at opportunities on how we can provide the country with healthcare to the population of Zimbabwe. I am very impressed with the thought process of the President and other members of the Cabinet, this is a really interesting pathway for the future,” he said.
The company produces a range of products in the health delivery sector that include the latest state of the art equipment that comes in hand as Zimbabwe is transforming all sectors through modernisation and industrialisation that leaves no place and no one behind.
The President was in Belgium for the European Union/African Union summit that concluded yesterday and he used the summit to meet with potential investors and also engage and re-engage with other world leaders.
The President who was accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Ambassador Frederick Shava, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development Prof Mthuli Ncube and the Deputy Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Mr George Charamba is expected in the country today.