Pakistan 10th largest market of gold: FPCCI chief

Asad Naeem April 12, 2013

imageKARACHI: The global demand of gold is more than 2500 tonnes and Pakistan's consumption is more than 100 tonnes which makes Pakistan world's 10th largest market.

Gold is usually imported from Gulf States and Western countries.

In gems sector, Pakistan is full of natural resources. Unmatched quality of ruby, emerald, topaz, aqua marine, fluorite and lais-Iazuli are mined from the valleys of Gilgit, Hunza, Swat, Azad Kashmir and Chitral.

This was stated by President, Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Zubair Ahmed Malik while inaugurating three-day International Gems and Jewellery Exhibition at a hotel here on Friday.

This international exhibition has been jointly organised by Jewel Time magazine and All Pakistan Gems and Jewellery Merchants Association (APGJMA) in collaboration with Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP).

Vice Chairman of APGJMA Kashif-ur-Rehman said that more than 50 companies have participated in the exhibition. The products of stone, diamond, gold and silver jewellery are show-cased. A large number of people visited the venue.

FPCCI President said that due to unavailability of gem cutting and polishing facilities, gems are exported in a raw form which brings nothing as compared to its real worth.

Pakistan has been gifted with abundant resources of several precious and semi-precious gemstones. At present, most of these are found in Gilgit-Baltistan and Khyber- Pakhtunkhwa, and Balochistan has a huge potential which remains to be explored.

Most important of the currently found stones are emeralds of Mingora (Swat), pink and golden topaz of Katlang (Mardan) and aquamarine of Chitral and Neelam valleys, he said.

There is no formal survey available to identify the geological resources of gemstones in the country. Due to lack of realisation of its importance as an industry, those who are engaged in the mining, cutting/ polishing and trading of gemstones in Pakistan have not been able to exploit the full potential of this sector.

Malik said Lahore has become the second largest jewellery production hub of Pakistan after Karachi. More than 25,000 business enterprises related to gems and jewellery are operating in Punjab and providing employment to more than 20,0000 individuals.

It is estimated that $1.5 billion jewellery target set up for 2017 by Pakistan is achievable provided the entrepreneurs are encouraged, a supportive infrastructure is developed, latest mining and cutting, gems and jewellery manufacturing techniques are introduced at the grassroots level.

Exports of gems and jewellery in the country has witnessed a sharp increase of 16.99 percent and 138.73 percent respectively during first eight months of current financial year against the same period of last year.

The jewellery exports during the period under review were recorded at $1.21 billion while during last year, the exports stood at $506.3 million.

The gems exports stood at $2.74 million during July-February 2012-13 against the exports of $2.343 million during July-February 2011-12.

<Center><b><i>Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2013</b></i></center>

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