Pakistan is a country with a population of more than 150 million. Labour force is available at relatively cheap rates hence offers a competitive edge. In this part of the world women love to wear gold jewellery. On occasions of marriage and other ceremonies a lot of jewellery is bought and worn. Secondly, gold is also bought for investment purposes, and considered a security as well. Historically Pakistan has a rich tradition of jewellery designs and craftsmanship, being handed down from Gandhara civilization, Alexandrian period and various other dynasties which ruled the subcontinent and finally the Mughal Era. We find a mark from all these periods.
In addition, Pakistan is blessed with vast natural reserves of precious and semi precious colored gemstones, including ruby, emerald, tourmaline, garnet, topaz, peridot, aquamarine, spinel, pargasite, diopside, moonstone, serpentine jade, epidote, pink beryl (morganite), purple beryl, sphene, zoisite, lapis lazuli, turquoise, kunzite and almost all known varieties of quartz.
Considering these two factors Pakistan is ideally placed for the industry to flourish and grow to meet the international challenges, if channelized in the right direction.
Pakistan Gems and Jewellery Development Company was formed in June 2006 and the company became operational in April 2007. PGJDC has the support and backing of the Government of Pakistan through Ministry of Production. The success of two years of consultative exercise which led to the formation of PGJDC would have been impossible without the personal attention and encouragement given throughout by the Ministry of Production, Government of Pakistan.
This consultative process of value chain analysis, gap identification and pilot project identification was led by private sector stakeholders representing all the four provinces and federally administered territories. The result was the first ever mine-to-market strategy based on first hand information.
Introduction of PGJDC
Despite its abundant reserves of precious and semi-precious gemstones and rich history of jewellery manufacturing, Pakistan has been unable to develop an internationally competitive gems and jewellery industry. Capitalizing on its vast natural resources, low labor costs, skilled craftsmen, and growing national and international demand, Pakistan has the potential to become a regional hub for precious stone cutting and jewellery manufacturing.
Keeping in view the above facts, the Pakistan Initiative for Strategic Development and Competitiveness (PISDAC) Project was launched by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The project was implemented by J.E. Austin, a US management consultancy company in partnership with Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority (SMEDA) of Pakistan. As part of the initiative, a group of committed industry stakeholders from gems trading and mining, jewellery manufacturing, jewellery retail and wholesale, training institutions, technical service providers, raw material suppliers and other allied industries agreed to form a Strategic Working Group (SWOG) to address how the industry could reposition itself through a better strategy. Within 16 months from its inception, the SWOG had developed a strategy shared and agreed to by the private sector and the Government of Pakistan. The SWOG itself has become a recognized private sector platform on which all key players in the value chain including the public sector have come together. One of the major features of the strategy put forth was the formation of a separate company for this sector which would undertake to implement the strategies spelled out for the sector. In the light of this recommendation, Government of Pakistan formed Pakistan Gems & Jewellery Development Company (PGJDC) in June 2006 as a non-profit public/private entity for the development of the Sector. The company became operational in April 2007. The main objectives of PGJDC are to ensure the implementation of the Strategy formulated by SWOG, SMEDA with USAID for general uplift of the industry and increasing the competitiveness of Gems & Jewellery Sector of Pakistan.