Harare, Zimbabwe — 19 November 2012 – Zimbabwe’s diamond exports to Belgium have reached record levels, according to the new Belgian ambassador Maricon Johan “’ but he did not reveal the figures.
allAfrica.com reports that in an interview with daily newspaper “The Herald” at State House soon after presenting his credentials to President Mugabe, Johan said that EU sanctions, which he preferred calling restrictive measures, had not affected trade and bilateral relations between Belgium and Zimbabwe.
“Diamond exports from Zimbabwe to Belgium have now reached record levels,” he said.
Belgium is the world’s top diamond trader with recent indications showing that it exported 10 million carats in October, an increase by volume of 142.8%.
According to Antwerp World Diamond Centre, there was also a sharp increase in rough diamond exports from Belgium, with the country trading 9.7 million carats worth US$1.16 billion, also exported in October.
On EU sanctions on Zimbabwe, Mr Johan said: “We like to say what you call sanctions are to us restrictive measures taken by the EU as a whole, meaning that there was consensus among the 27 members. We regularly assess the situation.”
He was hopeful that the EU would remove the illegal sanctions. The EU, which imposed illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe is headquartered in the Belgian capital Brussels.
Belgium said last week that it was keen to fully engage Zimbabwe in a long-term partnership to secure diamond supplies.
Speaking in Victoria Falls during the Zimbabwe World Diamond Conference, Antwerp World Diamond Centre board president Stephane Fischler said Belgium could not afford to ignore the emergence of Zimbabwe on the world market as a major diamond producer.
Source: allAfrica.com For more information, click here.