Macau receives first batch of certified rough diamonds from Russia

Macau receives first batch of certified rough diamonds from Russia

Jornal de Angola

Today, Macau received the first batch of Kimberley-certified rough diamonds, thus starting to trade this type of gemstone with which it hopes to strengthen the Sino-Lusophone relations.

This certification scheme, which certifies the origin of these gems and is crucial for producing regions - such as Portuguese-speaking countries - to be able to export rough diamonds to Macau, came into effect on October 1st.

The first batch to reach Macau from Russia, which has over 600 carats, was imported by a private conglomerate from Hong Kong, which sees the formerly Portuguese-administered territory as an advantageous platform for business.

The idea was expressed by the company's chief operating officer, Kent Wong, in remarks to reporters.

"Portuguese-speaking countries have diamonds (...) and China is the second largest consumer in the world. We can take advantage of Macau as a platform [Sino-Lusophone], due to its culture and language, and the import cost can even become lower", he said.

Another advantage is the distance between Macau and some factories in mainland China, said the head of the Hong Kong-based company.

Asked about the turmoil in Hong Kong, the official denied that it affected the deal, which he described as "very stable".

The Macau Economic Services Bureau (known as DSE) has already issued an operating license for diamond exploring activities to eight companies.

The Kimberley certification process is a system for supervising and controlling the import and export trade of rough diamonds, drawn up in accordance with a United Nations General Assembly resolution from 2003, which currently comprises 82 countries.

The system seeks to prevent the transaction of the so-called "blood diamonds", that is, gems from conflict areas.

Macau applied the process at a time when the government has been focusing on diversifying the economy, which is heavily dependent on gambling.