Pakistan’s gems and minerals need proper showcasing abroad

Pakistan’s traditional gems and mineral hubs need proper showcasing abroad in order to attract foreign investment and international tourist footfall, Syed Minhaj Uddin Shah, Chairman of All Pakistan Commercial Exporters Association (APCEA) for Rough and Uncut Gemstones, told WealthPK.

He said Namak Mandi, Peshawar was famous worldwide as a gemstone trade hub but it still lacked a proper exposure due to which the business was not up to the mark. The main cause is improper showcasing and less tourist inflow.

“Namak Mandi keeps a strong historical background and is a wonder in itself. The artisans here are par excellence despite the fact that they lack modern/high-tech equipment. This place is a potential tourist spot, a heritage asset, and a center of gemstone trade and business, needing proper exposure,” he said.

Discussing the need for collaboration of the tourism department to promote some of the traditional and historic business points like Namak Mandi, Managing Director of Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) Aftab ur Rahman Rana said tourism was hand in glove with economic activities.

“The Salt Range is a trade and business point. Besides, the whole area is rich in a unique cultural history and heritage sites. Strategically, it is an important area. Namak Mandi is a world-famous hub for trading gemstones and jewellery.

“The Salt Range is already a tourist point, while Namak Mandi needs a little more to turn into a tourist spot. Practically, a policy framework is needed for promotion in collaboration with the tourism department. It will not only increase the tourist footfall but also help create more opportunities for trade and business. For this purpose, wonderful trade and tour festivals should be planned.” 

Emphasizing the importance of trade-related tourist activities, he said a large number of people and a chain of different trade and business-related activities were attached to the tourism industry. The collaboration of the tourism department is indeed important in promoting several economic sectors in Pakistan. It will bring more opportunities to generate revenues, earn foreign exchange, and maintain a smooth economic cycle in the country. 

Aftab further said the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) was already working with the PTDC to organize international trade and tour festivals in the country. The APCEA’s interest is also a positive attempt to uplift the traditional gem and jewellery markets. So, the PTDC is also determined to promote some trade and business sectors in Pakistan through a joint tourism promotion and marketing strategy, he added.

All these effects will contribute towards attracting foreign visitors, creating linkages and building the country’s image across the globe, Aftab added.

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