- December 23, 2019
- Posted in LOCAL
As a gemstone consultant for ZMF I Mr. Privelage Moyo, early last month took time to visit China in search of markets for our upcoming gemstone sector so that we align ourselves to the 2023 vision of 12 billion United States dollars. The journey was an eye-opener as it proved that there is great economic potential in the semi-precious sector.
The first point of call was to look for strategic business people and partners who are willing to work with Zimbabwe ASM and with the know-how of our situation and challenges. I did meet up with a team of business people in Ningbo who are happy to be working with all the relevant Zimbabwe departments. The whole idea is to place Zimbabweans stones direct onto the market than to wait for the market or buyers to look for Zimbabwe. This sector has various traditional players who had been dealing with stones for centuries, making Zimbabwe a newcomer in the business.
Our aim for placing Zimbabwe directly onto the market is such that it may quickly catch up with the rest of the world in terms of market specifications and requirements. Countries like Brazil, Pakistan, India Madagascar, and China itself had been mining semi-precious stones for centuries now meaning that their quality had improved, clarity and sizes.
The final place I went to was in Jiangsu province called Donghai county, 70% of its income is through the trade of semi-precious stones. A newly built crystal market or mall in 2018 made trade sales of 14.5 billion yuan (usd2.1 billion), just one market alone. They have embraced the concept of an open market or just like our own model of Mbare Musika whereby more than 7000 dealers are given space to sell their stones from all over the world. So, Zimbabwe needs to align itself with the rest of the world by first visiting our rules and regulations, our export conditions, our way of doing business. Its time banks are enticed to get involved and be partners in the sector as there is the much needed foreign currency. Miners do not have the capital but banks do have super-local profits which can be turned into working capital and turned around into forex.
It’s time ZMF is given the go-ahead to spearhead this sector as MMCZ is overwhelmed with responsibilities. ZMF has over 1.5 million miners and this gemstone sector alone may triple as more players are willing but there is no framework or clear trade laws.