Stakeholders of Pakistan’s gem and jewellery sector have set up the first ever Gem Bazaar to showcase precious and semi-precious gemstones found in the country. It was organized by the All Pakistan Gem Merchants and Jewellery Association (APGM) ad it features stalls set up by exporters, retailers and merchants from northern parts of the country including Gilgit-Baltistan, Swat and Peshawar.
SM Muneer, the former chief executive of TDAP, Dr Mirza Ikhtiar Baig and others senior officials of the Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) inaugurated the bazaar here on Saturday.
Around 35 exhibitors of precious and semi-precious gemstones, rough gemstones and mineral specimen pearls, gemstones beads, silver jewellery and designers of jewellery were showcased their products in the bazaar. The products prices start from Rs100 per carat and go all the way to Rs.2.5 million per carat.
Chairman All Pakistan Gem Merchants and Jewellery Association Matiullah Shiekh said, every month of the Bazaar will be held twice in the city and later on, it will be organized in other cities including Lahore and Peshawar,
He urged the government to amend SRO 760 which, according to him hindered exports of gems and jewellery from Pakistan.
Former TDAP chief executive, S.M. Muneer, said that he had resigned from the post due to the SRO 760, which is a major hurdle in the way of exports from Pakistan. He urged the government to review the SRO so that exports volume could be increased.
Dr Ikhtiar Baig said that huge export potential for Pakistan’s gems existed in UAE, USA and Europe, He called for exploration of non-traditional products of Pakistan.
Abdul Razzak, Pakistan Gems and Jewellery Development Company chairman, informed that around 10,000 people had been trained in the gems sector.
Akhter Khan Tessori, the Group Chief Executive of Tessori Group of Companies, claimed Pakistan’s gem sector had the potential to increase its export share up to $5 billion, provided all facilities are extended to the stakeholders. Ruby, emerald, topaz, aquamarine, fluorite, and lais-lazuli gems are found in the valley of Gilgit, Hunza, Swat, Azad Kashmir and Chitral region. Due to non-availability of gems cutting and polishing facilities, these gems are mostly exported in a raw form. The major gem export markets including Thailand Sri Lanka, along with Western Europe, USA and East Asia.
Besides higher- prices and more in demand gemstones like emerald, pink topaz and ruby, Pakistan has one of the largest deposits of several other gemstone varsities.