KARACHI: Pakistani jewellers are planning to take advantage of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to give the dwindling industry a boost.
The All Pakistani Gems Merchants and Jewellers Association (APJMJA) has set up a committee to study and devise a detailed plan as to how the country’s gem and jewellery exports can be increased by taking advantage of CPEC.
Pakistan’s gemstone and jewellery sector is currently suffering due to low exports, undergoing a massive fall in the last five years. In 2016-17, the exports of the industry stood at $5.8 million, down 99% compared with $921.8 million in 2011-12.
Like other industries in Pakistan, this industry can also take advantage of CPEC, say officials.
“With the help of Chinese investment and machinery, we can increase our gemstone and jewellery exports to $5 billion in just 3 years,” said APJMJA Chairman Matiullah Sheikh. “Pakistan has the finest craftsmanship and China has technology. Together, we can promote exports of the industry,” he said.
There are close to 22,000 outlets and 18,000 workshops of gemstone merchants and jewellers across Pakistan. The sector is planning to propose the government to make gems and jewellery industrial zones, training centres and display centres along CPEC routes to lure the market.
The private sector is going to hold a meeting with officials of the Trade and Development Authority of Pakistan on October 24 to discuss further details. The APJMJA has 200 members but only 12 to 15 are active in export gems and jewellery to international market.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 22nd, 2017.