ISLAMABAD, Dec 06 (INP) -- Branding can help Pakistan become a gemstone-producing hub in the international market to earn handsome foreign exchange.
“A great number of gemstones of Pakistani origin are sold in the international market under the brand names of different countries, thus depriving the country of precious foreign exchange,” points out Jawaid Anwar, a former general manager (geology) of Pakistan Minerals Development Corporation.
Talking to WealthPK, he said most of the high-quality gemstones presented in the international market were from Pakistan, but due to a lack of strong branding, the country failed to build trust among consumers. “Pink Topaz of Katlang and Peridot of Kaghan valley in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and mineral specimens from northern areas, especially of gem quality, are unique and beautiful in nature, but they are shipped out of the country without branding,” he added.
Anwar called for strict implementation of laws to keep a check on the shipping of gemstones out of the country. “A proper framework is required to be put in place to ensure proper transportation of gemstones from mine to market. The policymakers should focus on this issue for the socioeconomic benefit of communities related to the mining sector,” he underscored.
Highlighting the importance of branding Pakistani gemstones, Abdul Bashir, a geologist working with Koh-i-Daleel Minerals (Pvt) Ltd, a Balochistan-based company, said branding of Pakistani precious and semi-precious gemstones involved a strategic approach. “Pakistani precious and semi-precious gemstones should find their way to international exhibitions and trade shows under a proper brand name to fetch the potential pricing. It will ensure a sustainable source of income generation for entrepreneurs and small-scale miners.”
He said northern parts of Pakistan were rich in a variety of gemstone mines. Gemstones are also found in Ras Koh, Kharan, Chaman and Chagai areas of Balochistan. He called for exploiting this wealth.
Talking to WealthPK, Zakirullah, former chairman of All Pakistan Exporters Association, said that Pakistan direly needed to brand its gemstone products. “America and Germany are the two main hubs for selling gemstones or their value-added products. China is also a good buyer of nephrite or calcite. To capture the international market, Pakistan must introduce its own brands.”
He also emphasised the need for trained people in lapidary. He said Pakistan can seek Chinese cooperation to add value to gemstone-based products.
In 2023, the international gemstone market is valued at $32.38 billion and is projected to reach $55.96 billion by the year 2033 at a compound annual growth rate of 5.6%.