INTERVIEW WITH MR. UBAIDULLAH QADRI, CHAIRMAN ALL PAKISTAN GEMS & JEWELRY MANUFACTURERS ASSOCIATION
Mar 12 - 18, 2012
PAGE: TELL ME SOMETHING ABOUT YOURSELF PLEASE.
UBAIDULLAH QADRI: I have been striving hard for the promotion of Gems and Jewelry sector in Pakistan for the last three decades in various capacities, few of which are given as follows:
I am, at present, Chairman of All Pakistan Gems and Jewelry Manufacturers Association (APGJMA).
I am founder member of APGJMA.
I had worked as Secretary Information, several times of APGJMA.
I have elected twice Member of Executive Committee of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) on Gems & Jewelry Producers, Manufacturers & Exporters.
Elected several times as Member of the General body.
Worked as Chairman FPCCI Standing Committee on Pak-Brunei.
Worked as Chairman FPCCI Standing Committee on Public Relation.
Former Vice Chairman, FPCCI Standing Committee on Fair & Exhibitions.
Former Vice Chairman, FPCCI Standing Committee on Religious Affairs.
I am one of the leading exporters of gems and Jewelry. I am a well-known social worker and philanthropist in Karachi.
PAGE: YOUR VIEWS ON INVESTMENT IN GEMS AND JEWELLERY FROM UAE IN PAKISTAN.
UBAIDULLAH QADRI: There exists a bright potential of joint venture investment with UAE as it is a hub of gems and jewellery trade for the global market and Pakistan is the gateway for the Middle Eastern countries. Untapped reserves of gems and favorable government policies can also provide opportunities for foreign direct investment in mining and avenues for global companies to explore precious metals and stones in Pakistan. The 180 million of domestic population represents huge market size of economy but due to unexploited potential, bulk of jewelry is imported or smuggled from India and China. With the help of UAE investors, we should establish Gems and Jewelry sector in four categories such as polished gems, gems stones, jewellery and synthetic stones. The value addition is highly possible in this sector with the studded jewelry, which contains precious and semi-precious stones. The industry should look towards building the brand equity of the Pakistani products such as gold jewelry and cut and polished diamonds. Pakistan gems and jewelry industry needs rapid strides in design, professionally trained entrepreneurs, and technology driven designers. We need technological solution just for production control, supply chain and inventory management in the jewelry sector. The skill enhancement through training would lead to greater competitiveness in Pakistan. With satellite beaming advertisements of jewelry, the buyers in Pakistan will inevitably start demanding them, which will be a setback to the local jewelry sector.
PAGE: How would you comment on gems and jewelry in Pakistan?
Ubaidullah Qadri: The Gems and Jewelry sector in Pakistan is as old as the history of Indus civilization and will remain deeply rooted in our culture, heritage, and history. Pakistan is bestowed with huge natural and human resources, which can contribute immensely in the development and exploitation of untapped potentials. Due to lack of interest in Pakistan, this sector is facing a serious crisis at the international level and the absence of government strategy towards the development of this sector enlarges Pakistan's reliance on India and other regional countries and the sector brings a minuscule share of foreign reserve in Pakistan as compared to its real worth and existing potentials. The linkages of Pakistani marketing are also weak with international markets, which are the main hurdle in the trade and further create problems in identifying true markets potentials market.
Pakistan has huge wealth of expensive gems such as ruby, emerald, tourmaline, garnet, topaz, peridot, aquamarine, spinel, pargasite, diopside, moonstone, Pink Topaz, Sapphire, Zircon, Feldspar, Agate, serpentine jade, epidote, pink beryl (morganite), purple beryl, sphene, zoisite, lapis lazuli, turquoise, and kunzite etc., which need exploitation. At present, there is no formal survey conducted which help to identify the geological resources in term of volume and quantity of gemstones in the country.
The Gems are mostly found in Baluchistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where there is high unemployment rate due to low economic activity. The proper establishment of gems and jewellery can help to lower unemployment and poverty in this area.
Currently, Karachi (Sindh) is the main commercial hub of Gems and Jewellery, meeting 60 per cent of total demand to other parts of the country. Other important jewellery production centers are in Lahore, Rawalpindi, Hyderabad, Faisalabad, and Peshawar.
Pakistan exported mostly gems in raw form due to the unavailability of gem cutting and polishing facilities. The interpersonal cutthroat competition and narrow vision in the present scenario also formulate this industry as underdeveloped industry in Pakistan. Whereas the structure of this industry is global in nature like the sources of the raw material are Africa, Canada, Russia and Australia whereas India, China, Turkey and Italy are the countries involved in jewellery manufacturing and processing and the retail markets are found in US, Europe, Far East, Middle East and Asia etc. Gems have a vast market in the US, Germany, Hong Kong, Thailand, Latin America, South Asian, and European countries.
Currently, the USA is the largest consumer for gems and jewellery, followed by China, India, the Middle East, and Japan. In Europe, the UK and Italy are the largest consumers, and Italy has also one of the world's largest jewelry fabrication centers. The emerging markets like China, India which are traditional jewellery centers of consumption, are expected to develop as the largest consumption markets for both traditional as well as branded jewellery.
Pakistan has not utilized its export market properly and not got affiliation with international organizations. Our gems and jewellery sector faces specialization problem such as rudimentary methods of making jewelry, low technology, high cost of production, high barriers in the entry of business, traditional designs and no innovations. This is the fact that our country is bestowed with huge rich mineral resources whereas eighty per cent diamond market share is owned by India and creates its monopoly in international market. The development of this industry can change Pakistan's position in international market because Pakistan's gem stones are very superior quality. Due to under development and infantry stage of industry, our precious stones in raw form is smuggled in large quantity to neighboring countries. Moreover, there is no proper technology for cutting and polishing of stones in Pakistan. After cutting and polishing of the stones by neighboring countries, they are sold in global markets and some quantities are also brought back to Pakistan which makes our product uncompetitive in global market in term of cost and brand.