Rawalpindi-Three-day Gems and Jewellery exhibition organized by the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) concluded here at a local hotel in Islamabad, receiving an overwhelming response from local and foreign visitors as the event had showcased Pakistan’s hidden potential in gems and stones, informed RCCI spokesman on Monday. Over 10,000 visitors including representatives of foreign companies operating in gems and stones business and locals visited different stalls and showed keen interest in the precious and semi- precious stones found in different areas of the country.

Addressing the closing ceremony, the RCCI President Zahid Latif Khan said that the main purpose of expo was to attract foreign investment in non-conventional sectors like Gems and Jewellery and to promote small and medium enterprise (SME). He said that the exhibition also provided an opportunity to the businessmen to showcase the best of Pakistani gemstones, diamonds, jewellery, and mineral specimens from across the country. Export Processing Zones Authority (EPZA) also participated in the expo and placed a help desk for foreigners and visitors. The general manager North Zahoor Ahmad informed that EPZA encouraged value added sectors like Gems and Jewellery to increase the foreign exchange earnings of the country.

The EPZA is pursuing an extensive programme to create a network of export processing zones in Pakistan. These EPZs are being established in close cooperation or under joint venture arrangements with the private sector, he added. Chairman exhibition, Fayaz Qureshi in his address said Pakistan always focused on traditional sectors to increase exports, however, we must look for new opportunities and sectors like Gems and Jewellery to attract foreign investment as countries like Thai land, Sri Lanka and Central Asian states have shown interest, he added. The Government should come forward and add incentives here to reduce taxes on import of machinery and other raw material used in this sector, he further added.

There were more than 60 stalls of different items including precious stones, gems, ornaments and silver, Gold and diamond jewellery, he added. Envoys from different countries, Jonov Sher Ali from Tajikistan, Furqat Sadiqov from Uzbekistan, Ali Alizade from Azerbaijan, Sewa Lamsel Adhikari from Nepal, among others, also participated in the event with their families, he added. Speakers from Ministry of Commerce and TDAP informed the audience that Pakistan has enormous 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.