The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council of India (GJEPC) 12-member delegation signed a seven-point agenda with the Pakistani counterparts at the Pakistan International Gems & Jewellery Exhibition in Karachi recently. The goal of this first ever Indian delegation to Pakistan, led by Mr. Sanjay Kothari, Vice Chairperson, GJEPC, was to explore a long-term partnership to leverage the US$12 billion worth gem and jewellery sector in Pakistan. The Pakistan International Gems & Jewellery Exhibition was inaugurated by Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani, Hon'ble Prime Minister of Pakistan. He was accompanied by key dignitaries at this memorable event namely Dr. Ishrat-ul-Ibad Khan, Governor Sindh, Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Chief Minister of Sindh, Chaudhary Anwar Ali Cheema, Minister for Production and Delegates from 55 countries including India, US, UK, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, Germany and France who participated in the event held for the first time in Pakistan at such a grand scale.
GJEPC’s objective to lead this first ever delegation to Pakistan included fostering strong bilateral trade relationship, interacting with the prospective traders and establish areas of co-operation and ultimately establish India as the most competitive centre for sourcing diamonds & jewellery globally and initiate direct trade between the two nations.
Commenting on this milestone, said Mr Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani, Prime Minister of Pakistan, “The size of Indian delegation led by the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council of India reflects the desire of both governments to enhance the bilateral trade and develop closer ties between the two neighboring countries. The efforts of the Ministry of Production in bringing the inherent potential of the Gems & Jewellery sector of Pakistan into limelight are commendable. I would like to congratulate Ministry of Production for setting up Pakistan Gems and Jewellery Development Company, dedicated for the development of the thriving Gems & Jewellery industry of Pakistan”.
He added, “With the active support and guidance from Ministry of Production, the Company is committed to the development of entire value chain of Gems & Jewellery industry of Pakistan from Mine to Market through skill development, technology up-gradation, marketing, branding and exports. It is very encouraging to mention that exports of Gems & Jewellery have shown phenomenal growth during the last five years”.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Kothari, said, "There has been only limited trade between the Pakistani Gems and Jewellery traders and their Indian counterparts via Dubai and Singapore. What is now needed is meticulous planning dealing with goods movements and customs duty. India-Pakistan trade will see a 500% increase in trade owing to the seven point agenda and the sheer price competitiveness that India presents to the hitherto untapped Pakistani markets.”
The SEVEN POINT AGENDA INCLUDES:
1. Improved duty structure between two countries
2. Exchange of students and faculty between the two countries
3. Facilitate Direct Import of gemstones from Pakistan
4. India to export jewellery to Pakistan
5. Pakistani contingent to participate in IIJS Signature 2013 and to host the Pakistan Pavillion
6. Indian contingent to participate in Pakistan trade shows
7. The two countries will jointly organise trade shows and conferences in other countries such as Dubai and Singapore
Senator Semeen Siddiqui, Chairperson of the Pakistan Gems and Jewellery Development Company said, “The Gems and Jewellery industry has been ignored by successive governments, despite the revenue generating capacity of the industry. More than 500,000 people are associated with the Gems and Jewellery industry in Pakistan and the country enjoys a competitive edge in the coloured stones sector, given the natural minerals available in Pakistan. We have presented a detailed proposal on how the Gems and Jewellery trade of Pakistan can be taken to the next level.”
GJEPC has acknowledged the significance of the neighboring country in terms of trade that can be attributed to the US$ 12 billion Gems & Jewellery market in Pakistan. The trade between the two countries has increased considerably: in the year 2011-12 the total export to Pakistan was US$17.69 million and the total import from Pakistan stood at US$0.31 million. The Pakistani export target is to touch US$1.5 billion. Strengthening the trade partnerships with Pakistan is vital to the Gems & Jewellery industry at home. This initiative also offers a perspective on what India has to offer to the Pakistani market.