Namibia’s Swakara hit by Greece crisis


THE economic crisis in Greece has had a direct negative effect on the Swakara industry in Namibia.
This is despite earlier assertions by the Bank of Namibia and IJG Securities that the problems in that country had no direct economic impact on Namibia.

Greek buyers have been absent from recent auctions resulting in less competition and lower prices.

“Thus the situation in Greece has a direct influence on the Swakara industry in Namibia in terms of the absence of Greek buyers at the auctions which mean less competition in the auction room and lower prices,” said Wessel Visser, manager of the Swakara Board.
Namibia annually exports approximately 120 000 Swakara pelts to Copenhagen where they are put on auction and sold to buyers from all over the world.

Visser said it is estimated that 70% of the 120 000 pelts end up in Russia via various skin dealers and designers when they are exported by Greek manufacturers.

“The Greek towns Kastoria and Siastista consist of family businesses that manufacture Swakara garments mainly for the Russian market,” Visser said.

According to Fur Europe, closed banks, cash only payments and limited cash-outs from ATMs have largely affected general trade activities.

Fur Europe said concerning imports, it recently bought fur from Kopenhagen Fur and Saga Furs auctions but said the skins are still at the auction houses as it was unable to pay them.

“We are currently able to operate. However, we are concerned about the potential side effects of the crisis on our business, such as supply of electricity and water,” said Dimitrios Kosmidis, president of the Hellenic Fur Federation.

– The Namibian



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