NEW DELHI: India might start exporting jewellery made from precious metals and stones to Pakistan soon, newspaper reports said.
Despite having enormous opportunities for bilateral trade between the two Asian neighbours with similarities in culture, ethnicity and choices, the jewellery trade between Pakistan and India is currently a mere $15 million annually. Since there is no direct access to each other’s markets, trade between the two countries takes place through secondary markets of Dubai, Sri Lanka and other Asian countries.
India is one of the world’s largest jewellery exporter of the world. Its exports earned India $45 billion during fiscal year 2012.
A 12-member Indian delegation, led by vice chairman of Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) Sanjay Kothari, visited Pakistan between June 7-12 and met many traders and retailers to explore potential for jewellery exports.
The team also met Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and discussed the possibility of growth in jewellery trade business. According to Kothari, Gilani agreed to look into tax and visa problems faced by the two countries to promote easy access to the markets.
“We can tentatively say that the direct jewellery export to Pakistan may commence in a couple of months,” said Kothari.
While Pakistan would be a new destination for India’s jewellery exports where Indian cuts and designs are widely accepted, import of classic colour gemstones by India would become easier.
Pakistan’s jewellery market is estimated at $12 billion while India’s annual jewellery exports stands at around $32-33 billion.
Direct access to Pakistan’s jewellery markets would partly compensate the export deficit to European countries which has declined significantly due to the ongoing economic crisis in the Euro zone region.
Pakistan has a good reserve of coloured gemstones which India may import for processing. Every 11 out of 12 diamonds produced in the world are processed in India. Hence, cutting and polishing of Pakistani colour gemstones would help grow India’s manufacturing sector to some extent, said Rajiv Jain, chairman of GJEPC.
While the direct jewellery export to Pakistan is set to begin soon, India’s exporters are planning to restrict themselves only to business-to-business (B2B) sector only.
Kotheri said that it would be impossible for Indian jewellery exports to go to consumers like they do in other markets.
Talking about growth possibilities, Kothari said, it would depend upon how soon Pakistan’s government reduces tax barriers.
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