GEM AND JEWELLERY SECTOR OF PAKISTAN
FAWAD H. KHAN, CEO PGJDC
Aug 03 - 09, 2009
An ample reservoir of precious and semi-precious gemstones has occurred in Pakistan. Rubies, emeralds, topaz, and aquamarine are classical genres of gemstones.
The prestige of this rich resource, when paired with finesse of native partisanship, turns out an awe-inspiring grandeur. Refurnishing is not a modern day practice but it dates back to Gandhara civilization.
Recently the government realized the potential of this sector to goad foreign exchange reserves into the country.
Ministry of Industries and Production has taken special initiatives to recognize the potentiality of the sector. Pakistan Gems and Jewellery Development Company (PGJDC), the vanguard of the gems and jewellery sector in Pakistan, was basically an outcome of the Strategy Working Group.
A public-private partnership, PGJDC is performing a leading role to improve the value chain of gems and jewellery from mine to market. The company's aim is to enhance exports through facilitation, technology upgradation, skill development, and marketing/branding initiatives.
Pakistan gems and jewellery development company is a subsidiary of Pakistan Industrial Development Corporation of the Ministry of Industries and Production. The charter of the company is to enhance the value chain productivity of gems and jewellery industry of Pakistan from mine to market. The company's share in developing the gems and jewellery sector of Pakistan has been in the form of training courses, seminars, workshops, and fieldtrips.
The government is providing adequate support and funding to develop the required infrastructure. The company is coordinating with Pakistan council for scientific and industrial research (PCSIR) and the geological survey of Pakistan (GSP) to explore and identify gemstone reserves. Since the inception of the company, concrete efforts have been directed towards technological development and building of awareness of the gems and jewellery in market.
The company plans implementation of the following initiatives:
• Gem Exchanges
• Gemstone Identification Laboratories & Certification Centres
• Gems & Jewellery Training and Manufacturing Centres (GJTMCs)
• Marketing/branding through participation in international exhibitions; local trade shows, market studies and surveys, and advertising and promotion
The company is also committed to recommend and articulate policy reforms for the development of the gems & jewellery industry locally and internationally.
So far, Pakistan Gems and Jewellery Development Company has been in the skill development of more than two thousand stakeholders of gems and Jewellery industry through 127 different training programs conducted across the country.
PGJDC always gives importance to the awareness building of stakeholders of gems and jewellery industry.
Out of total 127 courses PGJDC conducted so far 28 courses were in Computer Aided J- Designing, 15 in Jewellery Pattern Making in Wax, 10 in Manual Jewellery Designing, 11 in Diamond Grading, 16 in Gems Identification, 3 in Gemstones Faceting & Polishing, 5 in Color Stone Grading, 7 in Gemology, 5 in Computer Aided J- Designing ñ Matrix, 5 in Gemstones Carving, 4 in Basic Stone Setting, 3 in Diamond Grading & Pricing, 2 in Advance Pattern Making Techniques for Jewellery Manufacturing, 2 in Jewellery Manufacturing, 2 in Mining Techniques & Practices, 6 in Gemstone Faceting, 2 in Rapid Prototyping Machine Operation, and 1 course in Cost Management.
Of them, 59 have been conducted in Karachi, 26 in Lahore, 15 in Gilgit, 9 in Peshawar, 8 in Quetta, 5 in Islamabad, 2 in Chitral, 1 in Rawalpindi, 1 in Mehmand Agency, and 1 in Abottabad.
More than 2300 participants have benefited from these training courses, seminars, and workshops. Ratio of female participation was 30%. This clearly depicts the interest and enthusiasm shown by females in the field of jewellery designing, jewellery manufacturing, and gemstone processing.
PGJDC has also established Gems & Jewellery Training and Manufacturing Centres (GJTMCs) in Karachi, Lahore, and Gilgit. GJTMCs are the result of one of the core strategic initiatives of Pakistan Gems and Jewellery Development Company (PGJDC), which is raising value chain productivity. These centers were established to upgrade technology and skills in mining, gems processing, and jewellery manufacturing through training and provision of required equipments and facilities with the objectives to equip the industry with latest techniques and processes, to provide trainings on gems and jewellery designing and manufacturing with dual exposure to traditional and latest state machineries like CAD/CAM technology, and to provide state of the art training in cutting and polishing gemstones as well as common processing facilities in order to enhance the value of gemstones sold in local and international markets.
The GJTMCs of PGJDC are specially designed to portray a picture of an ideal classroom where the participants of the training courses are educated in the most facilitated environment. The availability of required instruments is ensured for every training program. The presence of state-of-the-art machinery and equipments helps the participants of the training courses to gain firsthand knowledge of contemporary techniques used in the world today.
PGJDC introduced CAD/CAM, a state of the art jewellery manufacturing technology, for the first time. CAD/CAM machines have been installed in PGJDC's GJTMCs. Introduction of CAD/CAM technology is one of the biggest milestones in the gems and jewellery industry. It is one of the first steps towards elevating mechanization and industrialization in the sector. The basic idea for introducing CAD/CAM technology by PGJDC is to facilitate the local industry and manufacturers with highly mechanized manufacturing, enabling the manufacturers to be competitive locally and internationally by producing high quality jewellery with maximum output in minimum turnaround time.
PGJDC has also established Gem Exchanges and Gem Labs in Peshawar and Quetta , which are hub of gems trading in Pakistan. Gem Exchanges and Gem Labs are established primarily to facilitate linkages between buyers and sellers of gemstones. It is an integrated approach of providing all the services under one roof, reducing costs and increasing cooperation amongst different stakeholders of the value chain.
The objectives of Gems Exchange are to facilitate access to market, provide competitive sourcing to buyers, provide visibility to suppliers without marketing expenditures, improve cooperation between suppliers, enhance profitability by lowering transaction costs of suppliers, discourage informal trade and provide the local traders exposure to foreign market.
Due to lack of adequate gem identification facilities, there is a limited understanding of gemstones and their properties. That leads to underselling of precious stones and lack of buyer confidence.
Three full-fledged and modern Gem Identification Laboratories of PGJDC are operational in Peshawar, Quetta, and Gilgit. These laboratories provide the facilities of gemstone testing and diamond grading. In these Gem Labs, diamonds and other precious and semi-precious stones are examined according to their colour, shape, cutting style, weight, measurements, etc. Reports are generated and certificates are issued to the customers of these Gem Labs. Gem Identification Labs in Peshawar and Quetta provide the services of Stone Certification on very nominal charges.
A state-of-the-art gem laboratory is equipped with gemological equipment like, microscope, refrectrometer, spectrometer, specific gravity balance, polariscope, dichroscope, etc.
Pakistan Gems and Jewellery Development Company introduced a new concept of "Gem Bazaar" in Pakistan in 2008 at its Gem Exchange Peshawar. Gem Bazaar is a unique concept where buyers and sellers meet over a simple layout of tables and engage in the gemstone trade. The availability of facilities such as Gemstone Identification Laboratory, Trading Booths and Day Light Room ensures transparent and fair trade of precious/semi-precious gemstones and mineral specimen which are brought in from all across the country.
In a short span of last one year, PGJDC has arranged eight (7 in Peshawar and 1 in Quetta) highly successful Gem Bazaars. The idea behind introducing Gem Bazaar is to build and enhance the business relationships between the buyers and seller of precious/semi-precious gemstones and mineral specimen. Business relationships developed in Gem Bazaar can be exploited further to boost the exports and local trade.
Introduction of Hallmarking is among the major initiatives of PGJDC. Assaying is the process of inspecting articles of gold/silver/platinum jewellery with respect to alloy composition and Hallmarking is the application of a series of marks onto precious metal jewellery which shows that the jewellery has been tested at an official Assay Office and found to conform to one of the accepted standards of fineness. PGJDC is in the process of locating spaces for Hallmarking Centers in Karachi and Lahore.
The main objective of hallmarking is to facilitate trade while maintaining fair trade and consumer protection. Hallmarking Act is to be enacted to give assaying/hallmarking a complete legal backing.
According to TDAP figures, gems and jewellery export, which stood at US$ 23 million in 2004-05, rose to US$47 million in 2006-07 and touched US$ 210.86 mark in year 2007-08. The phenomenal growth in exports proves that PGJDC's efforts to develop the gems and jewellery sector of Pakistan are bearing fruits.