RAWALPINDI  -  Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) President Zahid Latif Khan  Wednesday announced to make strenuous efforts for promoting  the ignored local Gems and precious Stone Industry with the help of skilled labour coupled with modern technologies.

Addressing a press conference here, Zahid said that RCCI would make all out efforts to give impetus to the national industry by producing the quality products for the national and the international markets, for the purpose, he added that a 3-day International exhibition of precious stones and gems is being organised in Islamabad from Friday. Presenting the existing pathetic condition of mining and processing of the Gems and precious stones industry, he said “Centuries old processes based on blasting technology is being used to extract the precious stones and gems which in the process not only get damaged but also a huge amount these go mere waste.”

He said this sector, which can help earn the country a sizeable foreign exchange was ignored in the past due to lack of interest by the patrons of the industry. “Therefore the RCCI has taken the initiative to pattern it,” he said.

Zahid said that buyers of the Pakistani gems and precious stones would be attracted through the exhibition which will be held at a renowned hotel in Islamabad where over 70 stalls are being set up to offer sales and showcasing the products. So far, he said buyers from three countries including Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Thailand have confirmed their participation in the exhibition.

However, he said that a foreign firm had also shown readiness to invest in the sector as far as the transfer of latest technology and modern know-how about the mining and processing of the products is concerned.

Despite ages old extracting and finishing technologies of the precious materials, the Pakistani products have considerable demand in the countries of Central Asia and Africa.

When asked that why local investors were not investing for the promotion of the sector, he said the local investments were there but major hurdle on the way was lack of modern skills to produce items matching with the international standards.

He said efforts were in hand to bring in the latest knowledge and skill for the betterment of the gems and jewels sector.