NAMIBIAN HOLDS MEETING WITH CHAIRMAN OF US DIAMOND COMPANY LAZARE KAPLAN

NEW YORK CITY, Namibian President Hage Geingob, who is here to attend the United Nations General Sssembly session beginning Tuesday, has held a closed-door meeting with Maurice Tempelsman, Chairman of diamond manufacturing and distribution company Lazare Kaplan International (LKI).

In an interview with the Namibian media in New York following Sunday's meeting, Tempelsman said the meeting discussed the world economic crisis and investment possibilities in Namibia. "I know from a long experience that Namibia is a country that is well governed; that has the rule of law and democracy, and a very open economic situation," he said.

LKI is a technical partner of the Okahandja-based diamond polishing plant, NamGem, which is wholly owned by Namibian diampond producer Namdeb Diamond Corporation, which is equally owned by the Namibian government and De Beers, the world's dominant diamond trader.

"We are also looking at some mining projects offshore [Namibia] and some banking things [business]," said Tempelsman, who added the mining exploration was still in its preliminary stage.

Tempelsman explained that LKI was able to put up a banking facility with the United States government's Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) in Botswana, to finance the beneficiation industry in co-operation with the local banks.

"We are trying to see whether we can duplicate that for the Namibian situation which certainly, in terms of its solidity and in terms of its rule of law, makes it possible," he stated.

He also said that his company would be happy to invest in Namibia through a 50-50 partnership with the Namibian government.

President Geingob is expected to address the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK