India has expressed desire to import raw gemstones from Pakistan, a product that is currently now allowed to cross the border.
Gemstone export to India is currently banned, however, this restriction is expected to be removed by the end of this year when MFN Status is implemented to India.
An Indian delegation led by Gems & Jewellery Export Promotion Council Vice Chairman Sanjay Kothari visited Pakistan from June 7 to 12 and met leading traders and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani to discuss trade in the gemstone sector.
They also visited technical training centres operated by Pakistan Gems and Jewellery Development Company.
Sanjay in an interview with The Express Tribune said that customers on both sides of the border have the similar tastes which makes it the most important sector for mutual trade. Pakistan’s jewellery market is estimated at $10 billion while India’s industry is almost triple at $30 billion.
He said that gems and jewellery industries of both countries have great hopes to ongoing talks between the governments of the two countries to ease trade restrictions.
Sanjay said that the main purpose of the tour was to identify joint venture possibilities and areas where cooperation can be increased.
India does not produce precious stones but is the global hub of turning raw stones into finished products. 11 out of 12 diamonds produced in the world are processed in India.
He said that in absence of the direct trade between the two countries, transactions are done through indirect routes such as Dubai.
According to Sanjay, the volume of gems and jewellery trade between the two old foes is about $18 million annually. Pakistan is looking to increase trade to $1.5b by 2017.
India has exported jewellery worth $17.7 million to Pakistan in the current financial year so far. This includes $15.38 million worth of gold jewellery, $1 million worth of cut-and-polished diamonds while the rest was fake jewellery.
Meanwhile, gemstones and jewellery worth $1.31 million were exported to India from Pakistan.
The Indian industry is estimated at $30.49 billion while its exports fetched $42 billion in the period under review. Pakistan has the potential to tap one of the largest jewellery market as only 5% of the Indian gems and jewellery industry is formalised.
With growing and strengthening middle class in India, demand for Jewellery, especially branded, is increasing.
The Indian delegation offered to train craftsmen and invited the Pakistani industry to participate in India’s International Jewellery Show which is going to be held from 23 to 27 August in Mumbai. Organisers expect 3,000 visitors and 800 exhibitors at the mega event.
Published In The Express Tribune, June 24th, 2012.
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