10 Feb 2014 16:00pm
WINDHOEK, 10 FEB (NAMPA) - The Namibia Diamond Trading Company (NDTC)'s current sight-holders Supplier of Choice (SoC) contracts which started in March 2012, will end on 30 March next year.
The NDTCs Manager for Public and Corporate Affairs, Helena Mootseng told Nampa on Monday that 2014 is a client-selection year.
In the very near future, the NDTC will publish its requirements for applications to become a NDTC sight-holder, and we will communicate all the detailed information to assist potential applicants in applying for an NDTC sight, she noted.
The company currently has 12 sight-holders, and feels the biggest challenge has been volatility in the diamond consumer markets around the world, where diamond jewellery is being purchased as a luxury product.
This has knock-on effects for manufacturing centres like Namibia and others, Mootseng said.
She added that the NDTC, like any business in the current economic climate, now faces more challenges.
Namibia as part of the global diamond industry is no exception to these challenges, and more so as it is an emerging manufacturing centre, she stated.
Sight-holders' contracts are valid for three years, although the previous sight-holders' contracts were valid for four years.
The NDTC thus extended their contracts by one year to allow the sight-holders to recover. The contracts started in 2008, and were supposed to end in 2011. They, therefore, ended in March 2012 before the current sight-holders took over (in March 2012).
Mootseng said it was unfortunate that the 2008/2009 economic downturn occurred in the middle of the contract period of the 11 sight-holders, who held the previous SoC contracts.
The main reason for extending the contract period was to allow businesses to recover from the severe downturn. Most businesses, including the NDTC, had to totally review its strategy and direction in order firstly to remain in business, and secondly to return to profitability, she said.