RAWALPINDI: The second edition of Gems, Jewelry and Watches exhibition being organized by the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) ended on a high note at a local hotel in Islamabad.
During the three day exhibition, more than 50 stalls of different items including precious stones, gems, ornaments and silver, gold and diamond jewelry were displayed. A large of citizens from all walks of life shown keen interest in different types of precious stones and ornaments, mainly, ruby, emerald, topaz, aquamarine, sapphire, zircon and kunzite etc.
Shafqat Mahmood, Federal Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training who was the chief guest on the closing ceremony, said that there is huge potential in this non-conventional sector which amounts billion dollar market volume.
From exploration to cutting and polishing and transfer of technology and marketing, government is ready to support chambers initiative in this regard, he informed.
He lauded trade development authority (TDAP) efforts for improving linkages and highlighted the neglected sectors.
Parliamentary Secretary for Commerce Shandana Gulzar Khan also attended the exhibition and assured full support and cooperation in promoting gem sector in the country. Government is focusing on empowerment of women entrepreneurs as we are facing human resource development challenge with our competitors in the region, she added.
Ambassadors, High Commissioners, diplomats and commercial councilors from different countries including Canada, Azerbaijan, Italy, Sri Lanka, Australia, Sudan, Malaysia and Nepal also participated in the expo and appreciated the standard of the products being displayed during the event.
RCCI President Malik Shahid Saleem remarked that this time we received a huge response from the exhibitors and also in collaboration with Trade Development Authority (TDAP) RCCI organized a technical and informative session for exhibitors on challenges faced by gems and jewelry sector. Representatives from TDAP, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR), Intellectual Property Organization of Pakistan (IPO-Pakistan) and key business stakeholders attended the session.
During the interactive Session, the participants were informed about the modern techniques of exploration of precious stones, including cutting, polishing and marketing. It was urged during the session that government must established state of the art testing laboratories in all provincial capitals.
He said, “We are looking for new opportunities and sectors like Gems and Jewelry to attract foreign investment as countries like Thailand, Belgium, Australia, Sri Lanka and Central Asian states have shown interest. The mineral-laden mountains in Pakistan have rich natural resources. The Country is home to numerous arrays of gemstones. Similarly, our workers and experts are also skillful, he expressed.
The President RCCI said the government should come forward and add incentives here to reduce taxes on import of machinery and other raw material being used in this sector.
Group Leader Sohail Altaf commented that Pakistan has been gifted by huge reserves of precious stones. This sector needs an immediate attention from the government to increase export through value addition.