New glint in gems and jew­ellery

Enterprise - - Trade watch -

The north­ern and north­west­ern parts of Pak­istan are sur­rounded by three of the world’s ma­jor moun­tain ranges - Hin­dukush, the Hi­malayas and Karako­ram. These moun­tains of­fer a whole va­ri­ety of min­er­als that Pak­istan of­fers to the world mar­ket, in­clud­ing aqua­ma­rine, topaz, peri­dot, ruby, emer­ald, amethyst, mor­gan­ite, zoisite, spinel, sphene and tour­ma­line.

The gems and jew­ellery sec­tor of Pak­istan has wit­nessed new growth in the last three years as ex­ports in the sec­tor jumped from $289 mil­lion in 2009 to $649 mil­lion in 2010. The gov­ern­ment’s in­ter­ven­tions have re­mained sig­nif­i­cant in this re­gard with the ob­jec­tive of en­hanc­ing for­eign ex­change earn­ings. In the in­dus­trial min­er­als sec­tor, the gov­ern­ment-owned Min­ing Cor­po­ra­tion is ef­fec­tively help­ful to lo­cal in­vestors. Also, the Min­istry of Petroleum and Nat­u­ral Re­sources ex­tends as­sis­tance in re­cruit­ing for­eign in­vest­ment in min­ing pre­cious and semi-pre­cious stones. More­over, the projects ini­ti­ated by Pak­istan Gems and Jew­ellery De­vel­op­ment Com­pany (PGJDC) con­trib­ute to the de­vel­op­ment of the in­dus­try at a very sig­nif­i­cant level pro­vid­ing a lu­cra­tive plat­form for lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional trade.

Gem­stones Cor­po­ra­tion of Pak­istan was estab­lished in 1979 to ex­plore Pak­istan’s own share of wealth in min­er­als and to fa­cil­i­tate gem­stone min­ing and busi­ness in Pak­istan. It had valu­able in­flu­ence but ul­ti­mately was liq­ui­dated in 1997. Now, there are two bod­ies work­ing for the growth of the in­dus­try, i.e. Trade De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity of Pak­istan and All Pak­istan Com­mer­cial Ex­porters As­so­ci­a­tion (APCEA) which de­vel­ops rough and un-pol­ished pre­cious and semi pre­cious stones.

Pak­istan is both a gem­stone pro­ducer, the re­gional trad­ing cen­tre for gem­stones from Cen­tral Asia and also a jew­ellery cut­ting and man­u­fac­tory cen­tre. The city of Peshawar serves as the first, di­rect and only mar­ket for all min­er­als found in Pak­istan and Afghanistan since 1979, after the Soviet Union in­vaded Afghanistan. Be­fore the in­va­sion, Karachi was a big­ger mar­ket of gems and min­er­als in Pak­istan. Fol­low­ing Peshawar’s rise in promi­nence, Karachi’s sig­nif­i­cance and role in gem min­er­als was reduced.

The strength of Pak­istan’s lo­cal gem mar­ket can be es­ti­mated from Peshawar’s Na­mak Mandi and Min­gora in Swat. At Na­mak Mandi, the tra­di­tional pink­ish to red ru­bies coming from Jag­dalek in Afghanistan, at­trac­tive pink­ish to red stone from the new de­posit of Mur­gap in Ta­jik­istan, pur­plish and dark red stones orig­i­nat­ing from the Batakundi area and bright red small stones from the Nangi­mali de­posit in Kash­mir, emer­alds from Pan­jshir, Swat, Lakhman, Gil­git and also from the new mine lo­cated near the vil­lage of Dav­dar in Chi­nese Xin Jiang, can be seen there. It is a small area com­pris­ing two tiny streets, which make up the gem trad­ing cen­tre for Cen­tral Asia. Fine crys­tals and min­eral spec­i­men are also eas­ily avail­able from spe­cial­ized deal­ers in the mar­ket. Sim­i­larly, the fa­mous Min­gora emer­ald mine along with other important ar­eas of Shar­moozi, Gud­jurkali and the Shangla District pro­vide ex­port qual­ity gems.

For the pro­mo­tion of the gems sec­tor, Pak­istan Gems and Jew­ellery De­vel­op­ment Com­pany (PGJDC), estab­lished un­der the Min­istry of In­dus­tries and Pro­duc­tion, Gov­ern­ment of Pak­istan, has been com­mit­ted to the de­vel­op­ment of the Gems and Jew­ellery In­dus­try of Pak­istan from mine to mar­ket in the ar­eas of skill de­vel­op­ment, tech­nol­ogy up-gra­da­tion and mar­ket­ing. The idea of or­ga­niz­ing ‘Gem Bazaars’ in dif­fer­ent cities in­clud­ing Peshawar is to en­hance value chain pro­duc­tiv­ity and pro­vide a sta­ble plat­form for buy­ers and sell­ers of the gem­stones and min­eral spec­i­men un­der one roof.

Im­por­tantly, United Na­tions In­dus­trial De­vel­op­ment Or­gan­i­sa­tion’s (UNIDO) In­vest­ment Pro­mo­tion Unit (IPU) has de­vel­oped a spe­cial in­vest­ment pack­age for the gems and jew­ellery sec­tor of Pak­istan. All the stake­hold­ers have aligned the fu­ture ini­tia­tives of the plan. IPU pre­sented its ser­vices for fa­cil­i­tat­ing co­op­er­a­tion be­tween Pak­istani and Ital­ian gems and jew­ellery com­pa­nies to as­sist them in ac­cess­ing an Ital­ian credit line of 7.75 mil­lion Eu­ros.

Pak­istan’s gems and jew­ellery sec­tor has the po­ten­tial to gen­er­ate a rev­enue of $1.5 bil­lion by adopt­ing mod­ern tech­niques and method­olo­gies and the po­ten­tial can be con­verted into gains to ben­e­fit the econ­omy

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