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Botswana rough diamond exports down 66% in third quarter

As the coronavirus pandemic hit demand and global travel restrictions impacted trading.
Image: Shutterstock

Botswana’s rough diamond exports plunged around 66% in the third quarter compared with the same period last year, data showed on Friday, as the coronavirus pandemic hit demand and global travel restrictions impacted trading.

Botswana closed its borders in March to curb the spread of the virus, locking out international buyers from countries like India, Belgium and China who traditionally travel to Gaborone many times a year to view and buy diamonds.

According to central bank data, Debswana, a joint venture between Botswana and Anglo American unit De Beers, exported rough diamonds worth $287 million in the third quarter of 2020, against $863 million in the same quarter of 2019.

Botswana gets about 30% of its government revenues from diamonds, which constitute 70% of exports.

Although it has recorded only around 6 600 Covid-19 cases and 24 deaths, Botswana’s economy has been severed affected by the pandemic, with authorities predicting an 8.9% contraction in 2020.

The government said this week that to restart the tourism sector, which is the country’s second-largest foreign exchange earner, it will from November 1 open its borders to international tourists by allowing private chartered flights into two towns close to its prime attraction, the Okavango Delta.

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Botswana has scored quite a few own goals as well the last couple of years.

Has become very anti foreigner in contrast to their aim of becoming the “HUB” (Dubai) of Southern Africa.

Just one example is the transfer duty on property bought by foreigners. It has been increased from 5% to 30%. This has done damage to the whole industry as property prices has dropped considerably. Not a single foreigner has bought a property since March.

Many loans including and mostly those of locals are now larger than the value of the property. The banks are running scared and the industry could be at a tipping point.

No use trying to reverse it again as the intention was made clear.

Beats me how they plan on becoming the Dubai of Southern Africa all by their lonesome selves?? Maybe someone needs to go to Dubai and actually check what is going on there and forget about the shopping.

End of comments.

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