Home News Pakistani Gemstone Traders Call For Government To Embrace Modern Tech, Lift Barriers To Boost Exports

Pakistani Gemstone Traders Call For Government To Embrace Modern Tech, Lift Barriers To Boost Exports

by Madonna

Exporters and traders of gemstones and jewelry in Pakistan are advocating for the government to embrace modern technological methods and eliminate restrictions to bolster exports from the country. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif recently emphasized the need to elevate Pakistan’s gems and precious stones sector to industry status. A report from Pakistan’s Ministry of Commerce highlights a notable 47 percent surge in exports of pearls and precious stones to China in 2023, underscoring the escalating demand for Pakistani gemstones in the Chinese market. Pakistan boasts substantial reserves of emerald, ruby, sapphire, topaz, aquamarine, and tourmaline gemstones.

Syed MinHajjuddin Shah, chairman of the All-Pakistan Commercial Exporters Association of Rough & Unpolished Precious and Semi-Precious Stones, emphasized the importance of modernizing the gemstone sector to remain competitive. He noted that while China remains a significant market for Pakistani gems, other countries like Sri Lanka are leveraging modern technology, leaving Pakistan at a disadvantage due to outdated mining methods.


The jewelry industry in China reached an all-time high import and export value of $145.334 billion in 2023, marking an 8.62 percent year-on-year increase. Pakistani gem exports to China also experienced a notable 47 percent uptick in 2023, indicating the growing recognition of Pakistani gem quality among Chinese consumers.


The demand for colored gemstones in China has been steadily rising since 2023, complementing traditional assets like gold. Market research indicates that prices for colored gemstones in China surged between 30 percent and 50 percent in the first half of 2023, with larger or rarer gems seeing even steeper price increases.


Shah highlighted the drawbacks of conventional blasting methods used in Pakistan, which often result in gemstone fracturing and cracking, diminishing their quality and value. He stressed that adopting modern mining technologies could prevent such losses, leading to increased value addition and higher foreign exchange earnings for Pakistan, with potential for expanded exports to Gulf countries.

Adnan Qadri, convener of a standing committee on gems and jewelry producers, manufacturers, and exporters at the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), acknowledged the challenges faced by Pakistan’s gem exports, attributing them partly to restrictions imposed to comply with FATF regulations on money laundering and terror financing. These restrictions resulted in a significant drop in gem exports, from $30 million to less than $10 million.

According to official data, gem exports from Pakistan plummeted by 82 percent in terms of quantity and 10 percent in value during the current fiscal year. Qadri highlighted the FPCCI’s proposals to the government for revitalizing gemstone exports.

The FPCCI raised concerns about restrictions on exporting precious gems and gold jewelry via courier services, leading exporters to misdeclare items as artificial jewelry, thereby suppressing exports in the sector. They emphasized the need for policy reforms to unlock the growth potential of the gems and jewelry industry, which currently represents a minimal fraction of Pakistan’s total exports.


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