Best World Gems Showcased at Washington Jewels of Africa Exhibition
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...Government Support, AGOA crucial in growth of gemstone sector...
Washington D.C., Wednesday, 11th December 2019 – The Zambian embassy in Washington DC was Tuesday night transformed into a prestigious market for the world’s best precious stones as droves of personalities trekked to the Mission for the Jewels of Africa exhibition. The successful exhibition provided the Zambian firm with a huge marketing and sales platform as well as showcased the Zambia’s peace and flourishing democracy – attributes that continue to help the country appeal to the worldwide business, and investment community as the best destination for business in Africa.
Ambassadors, High Commissioners, business executives, jewelry collectors and enthusiasts as well as private American citizens walked through the embassy doors to sample and buy the Zambian gems.
Renowned jewelry designer, gemologist, valuer and expert in African gemstones, Rashmi Sharma hosted the exhibition with Sandra Kasaby, Marketing & Operations Manager for Jewel of Africa with the support of Zambian embassy staff.
Rashmi commended President Edgar Lungu and Government for the support rendered to the gemstone sector which had resulted into unprecedented growth for the industry she reckoned would earn the country enormous revenue. The holding of the exhibition in the United States was targeted at helping Zambian get a fair share of $600million which America spends on emeralds annually. The global gemstone business, according to American based Future Market Insights (FMI), was worth nearly US$22 billion in 2018. That figure is set to steadily grow over the coming years and Zambia could significantly benefit with a steady growth and global marketing of its gemstones sector.
During the exhibition, dozens of guests took time to buy stones that appealed to them. They included high Commissioners and Ambassadors from the SADC region, COMESA as well as former US Ambassador to Zambia Mark Storella who is Dean of the Management School at the American Diplomatic Institute.
Rashmi re-emphasized the importance of making great inroads into America by appealing to the American buyer that Zambia had a variety of high quality, innate and untreated gemstones and fine craftmanship.
“The world has every reason to buy Zambian gemstones. They are the best, natural and come in the best varieties and we have what the rest of the world cannot offer in terms of variety,” Rashmi said adding: “We sincerely thank the government and President Lungu who took time to visit our stores and factory to support us as well as this opportunity to market and sell our gems here. America is a huge market for gemstones and with events like this, we continue to expand and grow our market share and that can only mean success not only for Jewels of Africa but for the whole economy.”
Rashmi commended the US government for initiatives such as AGOA for the platform it had provided in opening up the American market for Zambian gemstones. Through AGOA, Jewels of Africa has been able to access the American market tariff free and without any middlemen. AGOA has also been of huge benefit to American buyers and consumers in that they have been able to buy top quality products from the source thereby saving them costs in import duties.
Welcoming guests to the exhibition, Zambian ambassador to the United States H.E. Dr Ngosa Simbyakula, SC, said Zambian gemstones provided buyers and collectors the best in the world.
“We welcome you all and the rest of America and the world to enjoy what Zambia offers. Buy Zambian gemstones because they are of high quality and when you buy them, you do so with a free conscious because they are conflict free and pure,” Ambassador Simbyakula said.
Jewel of Africa has been selling and marketing in US for over 18 years.
The hosting of the exhibition was one of the efforts the embassy is undertaking in ramping up economic diplomacy on the heels of President Edgar Chagwa Lungu’s call to diversify the economy in order to create jobs and wealth.
First Secretary – Press & Public Relations
Embassy of the Republic of Zambia