ISLAMABAD: All Pakistan Commercial Exporters Association (APCEA), in collaboration with Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government, intends to establish a gemstone centre in KP.
Talking to media, APCEA Patron-in-Chief Mamoor Khan said that the gem center would be the first of its kind in the country, adding that the provincial government has already provided a 4.5-kanal land on Kohat Road on a 35-year lease to establish the said center.
He said the gem center would provide a much-needed space for showcases and exhibitions, besides providing lapidaries, cutting and polishing centers, internationally-recognized aggregated labs, certified gems and other related facilities under one roof.
Khan said that the foreign investors have always taken a keen interest in Pakistani gems but due to the non-availability of a safe and guaranteed space, the investors hesitate to invest in this sector.
“Through this center, we would provide an opportunity to the foreign investors to witness the Pakistani products and interact with the local dealers,” he maintained.
He demanded the government to provide appropriate funds for the construction of the centre, saying that this center would not only promote gems of the country but also would create a number of jobs in the gemstone sector.
“We also aim to establish a skill development centre where youth would be provided with the right training in gem extracting, cutting, polishing and other related fields,” he added.
APCEA former chairman Haji Dost Muhammad said Pakistan has a lot of potential in gemstones and they could attract huge foreign investment in this sector by creating a safe and healthy business environment for investors.
Replying to a query, he stated that the association was working on laws and regulations to discourage those who were cheating people by selling fake or substandard gems and cause disrepute and damage to the industry.
“We have decided that initially, we will boycott these elements and if they keep on committing frauds, strict legal actions will be taken against the culprits,” he asserted.
The former chairman further said that the pink Topaz of Katlang was only available in Pakistan, whereas the emerald of Swat and sapphire of Kaghan valley also enjoy great demand around the world.
He demanded the government to facilitate the sector by introducing latest techniques, saying that if modern machinery and techniques are applied for extraction, cutting and polishing as well as for the promotion of the gemstone, this sector could generate huge revenue for the country.