Africa’s rich natural resources could help establish Qatar’s potential as a trading market for diamonds, and to put up gold refineries across its free zones, according to South African ambassador Faizel Moosa.
Hoping to balance trade figures between Qatar and South Africa, Moosa said Africa is rich in diamonds, gold, aluminium and iron ore, as well as other similar precious metals, which it could export to Qatar.
“I think there is a huge opportunity for Qatar to become a diamond bourse or a trading establishment because presently in Dubai, they’ve added a 5% tax, so all the diamond buyers are very upset.
“So, there is a big opportunity to put refineries in the free zones…in terms of gold, Qatar does not have a gold refinery, and so there is also a huge opportunity to have this type of facility in Qatar.
Africa is rich in gold – South Africa and most of the DRC (Democratic Republic of the Congo); we can bring it here and refine it in the country, and make it into bullions,” Moosa told reporters during a recent business meeting in Doha.
For both gold and diamonds, Moosa said South Africa could secure “a constant supply” of the yellow metal and the precious gemstone for export to Qatar, which the Gulf state could then sell to buyers from China and India, as well as those from other countries. Moosa also stressed that it is important to be certified under the Kimberley Process to guarantee that the exported diamonds are legitimate.
“The Kimberley Process started when Southern African diamond-producing states met in Kimberley, South Africa, in May 2000, to discuss ways to stop the trade in ‘conflict diamonds’ and ensure that diamond purchases were not financing violence by rebel movements and their allies seeking to undermine legitimate governments.
“In December 2000, the UN General Assembly adopted a landmark resolution supporting the creation of an international certification scheme for rough diamonds.
By November 2002, negotiations between governments, the international diamond industry and civil society organisations resulted in the creation of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS),” the Kimberly Process website said.
Moosa also stressed that South Africa could train personnel in Qatar to polish rough diamonds to add value. “Qatar could also develop its own diamond industry that could cater to the rest of the world,” the ambassador added.
Qatari entrepreneur Farhan al-Sayed, who has been in exploratory discussions with Moosa, suggested that Qatar could sell commemorative gold or silver coins during the 2022 FIFA World Cup once the country establishes refineries in the free zones.
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