Pakistan’s export of gem and jewellery could grow to $1.5 billion in the next three years, according to Ahmad Jawad, member export, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Speaking to Business Recorder, Jawad explained that the country’s potential for expansion and exports depend on providing the sector with latest technology, training and supportive infrastructure.
He noted that at present, a number of factors are keeping the sector from achieving its full potential. These include the absence of specific gem-related mining policy, obsolete mining machinery, shortage of skilled manpower, dearth of creativity, lack of global market knowledge and export methodology.
Current export numbers for the gem and jewellery sector stands at $300 million, which he noted is very small despite the country’s huge mineral resources.
He also cited that the country lags behind neighbouring India, which accounts for more than 13 percent (or $19 billion) of total world exports, as well as China and UAE, which are both earning $8 billion and $7.1 billion, respectively.
Pakistan has abundant supply of several precious and semi-precious stones, but most of which “go to waste due to old excavation methodology”, he said, adding that this issue nees to be addressed for the country to have a stronger presence in the international market.