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Introduction

Gold Art Promotion Council-Pakistan (GAPC-Pakistan) is an organization consisting of gold trade professionals and experts. These people converged at a platform to wage joint struggle to pull out this trade and art from the quagmire of backwardness.

It is a duly registered organization with the government of Pakistan formed for the sole purpose of enhancing gold trade and expertise of artisans through domestic resources and international collaboration.

Before going into the objectives and working of the Council, it is pertinent to mention here that it is an offshoot of Lahore Division Sarafa and Jewellers Association. This Association has a long history of struggle and hard work, which it made from time-to-time on consistent lines for the betterment of sarafa and jewellers community.

Some achievements of the parent Association of this Council, Lahore Division Sarafa and Jewellers Association are as follow:

A.     The Lahore Division Sarafa and Jewellers Association is the body, which had solved the issue of General Sales Tax in 1998. It also foiled the efforts of those elements, who tried to make this issue a point of confrontation between the government and the jewellers community. This group of patriotic Pakistanis also rejected those people who wanted to observe strike and prolong this issue to achieve their ulterior motives.

B.     It successfully organized "First National Jewellers Seminar and Awards Distribution

1998" in collaboration with the World Gold Council, which sponsored 50 awards of different categories for the exporters. All those who attended this seminar including important personalities of this trade, government officials and representatives of World Gold Council appreciated this effort of the Association.

Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority (Smeda) also made its first public appearance at this seminar and announced to work for the promotion of this sector. The Association also helped Smeda in formulating its recommendations for the promotion of gold trade.

C.    This organization arranged successfully the design-making contest of jewellery called 'Zargalli' in collaboration with the World Gold Council. 

D.     A magazine called 'Jewellery Review was also brought out. There is also a plan to publish more publications to project the jewellers' point of view.


E.      The credit of government decision to declare jewellery sector as industry in the Trade Policy-2005 also goes to the Lahore Division Sarafa and Jewellers Association. This organization raised this issue from its platform on different occasions to promote and develop this sector.

F.      The Lahore Division Sarafa and Jewellers Association succeeded in its struggle against the police harassment of jewellers for purchasing stolen jewellery. It was due to the efforts of the Lahore Division Sarafa and Jewellers Association that the Ministry of Law issued instructions to police department not to harass any jeweller in such case. Later, the Inspector General of Police, Punjab, issued a circular No 22712-52/MII, dated 23 rd September 1972 in this regard.

G.      Another plus point of the LDSJA is that it successfully introduced the new gold weighting system of milligram, ending the decades old use of tola and masha system. This move helped a lot to the jewellers in understanding the new measurement system.

H.     In 1990, the LDSJA succeeded in getting approval for the grant of arms license to jewellers to cope with the increasing incidents of thefts.

 



ESTABLISHMENT OF GOLD ART PROMOTION COUNCIL-PAKISTAN

After having the experience of above mentioned situation and circumstances, a need was felt to establish a new platform. Therefore, an organization called "Gold Art Promotion Council-Pakistan" was formed. All these patriotic people are fully equipped with the requisite expertise, ability and skill to achieve the objectives mentioned hereunder.

A.     To establish a training institute for higher education and techniques for the promotion of fine and excellent designing and bringing making of gold jewellery at par with the international level.

B.     To conduct qualitative and motivational surveys for good understanding of the gold jewellery markets.

C.     To assist and support retailers and whole-sellers for the enhancement of their knowledge about the latest designs and making jewellery.

D.     To take steps for the introduction of innovative designs to capture bigger markets.

E.      To expand the network of monthly journal "Jewellery Review." 

F.      To take measures for the enhancement of consumption of gold and gold jewellery.

G.      To arrange and conduct meetings, seminars and symposiums to keep all concerned fully aware of the local and international markets, new trends and development in the gold jewellery trade.

H.      To formulate schemes and proposals for the benefit of traders.

I.     To arrange exhibitions and attend foreign trade fairs so that new trend and development in jewellery be introduced in Pakistan.

J.     To take all other steps, which are considered necessary, beneficial and appropriate for the improvement, development and benefit of the gold jewellery trade.

 



EFFORTS TO PROMOTE PAKISTANI JEWELLERY INDUSTRY ABROAD

Gold Art Promotion Council-Pakistan is not only working for the promotion of gold consumption and gold industry within Pakistan, but it is also striving hard to glorify the Pakistani gold and other precious items at the international level. One way to achieve this goal is to attend the international jewellery fairs and exhibitions.

           The GAPC-Pakistan during 2004 within a short span of three months twice took delegations to India. India is world acclaimed in export of gold ornaments and other articles while it is big importer of gold too. The Council held meetings with its Indian counterpart Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council in New Delhi, Jaipur and Mumbai. The Council delegation visited different institutes, workshops, manufacturing facilities and sale points in these cities working under the auspices of Indian Gem and Jewellery Council.

Another delegation under the aegis of GAPC-Pakistan also participated in an exhibition of gold ornaments and precious items arranged in Mumbai. The Council is also organizing visits of its members to Dubai and other places, while negotiations with world reputed organizations imparting education in jewellery-making, designing and machinery use are also underway to promote latest technology and skills in Pakistan.

The Gold Art Promotion Council-Pakistan (GAPC-Pakistan) has also been working for the promotion of other countries' gem & jewellery exhibitions in the private sector. In this connection various trade organizations are in touch with the GAPC-Pakistan.

The first agreement in this regard was signed with the renowned Malaysian jewellery association, Elite Expo Sdn. Bhd in 2006. Under this accord, Gold Art Promotion Council-Pakistan was appointed the sole supporting authority in Pakistan. The responsibility of the GAPC-Pakistan was to promote and project the activities of the jewellery exhibition of the Malaysian association. The GAPC-Pakistan was the only organization in Pakistan which got this honour as no other association was capable enough for managing and fulfilling this responsibility.
Keeping in view the performance of the Gold Art Promotion Council-Pakistan, the Elite Expo Sdn. Bhd has signed another contact with the GAPC-Pakistan by making the official organ of the council, Jewellery Review, as the ‘Official Media Representative' in Pakistan.

Another feather in the GAPC-Pakistan cap is that it has been appointed ‘Official Media Representative' of the 25th MidEast Watch & Jewellery Show, a world renowned watch and jewellery exhibition (October 8-12, 2008) in Sharjah. GAPC-Pakistan is responsible for the full publicity of the event in Pakistan.

GAPC-Pakistan not only is responsible for the complete coverage of the event in the Jewellery Review but other ways and means are adopted to inform the jewellers' community within the country about this Show. A big delegation of the GAPC-Pakistan is participating in this exhibition for the first time.

 



VISIT ABROAD

Keeping in view the importance of the business contact with foreign countries' gem & jewellers associations, GAPC-Pakistan has chalk out a plan to send delegations to other countries for taking part in the gem and jewellery exhibitions there. It is a big opportunity of having contact with other counterparts abroad for increasing exports of Pakistani gem and jewellery.

To materialize the dream of the GAPC-Pakistan office-bearers to achieve the target of increasing the exports of Pakistani gem and jewellery, a visit was made in September 2007 to Italy. The event was Vicenzaoro Autumn Fair, which was organized from September 15 to 19, 2007. A large delegation of the Gold Art Promotion Council-Pakistan participated in this exhibition. After taking part in the event, the GAPC-Pakistan team toured other European countries and held a number of meetings with the jewellers' associations for the promotion of business relations with them.

In December 2007, a delegation of GAPC-Pakistan attended Jaipur Jewellery Show, India. The delegation, headed by the then association President and Lahore Division Sarafa & Jewellers Association Chairman, Muhammad Ahmad held talks with a three-member delegation of India Trade Promotion Organisation, headed by Ramesh Chandra. Matters of bilateral interests came under discussion, including promotion of gems and jewellery trade between Pakistan and India in the private sector.
In an another attempt to develop trade ties in the private sector between the two organizations of Pakistan and Italy, another delegation of the GAPC-Pakistan attended the Vicenzaoro Winter Fair, (January 13 to 20, 2008). The purpose of the visit to Italy is to acquaint our artisans about the latest trend of jewellery making, particularly the modern machinery. During the exhibition the GAPC-Pakistan team visited and met various delegations participating in the Show. The visit proved to be a milestone in having ideal trade relations among the jewellers' community of the two countries.

In order to give boost to the regional relations between the jewellers associations of Pakistan and India, the GAPC-Pakistan's working committee decided to join the jewellers of India in their exhibition, JCK Jewellery Show (July 5 to 8, 2008). This was the first visit of the Council delegation to this event in New Delhi. The delegation was headed by Rana Muhammad Asghar, President, Gold Art Promotion Council-Pakistan.
Not confining its business ties with one organization, the GAPC-Pakistan made up its mind to revive the old relations with the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council, India (GJEPC). For this purpose, a big delegation of 61 members was constituted to take part in the 25th India International Jewellery Show (August 7 to 11, 2008) in Mumbai. The delegation, headed by Mr Muhammad Ahmad, Chairman Working Committee, met the GJEPC Chairman, Mr Sanjay Khothari. A number of proposals for the development of business relations were discussed on this occasion

 



PROFILE

Haji Manzoor Ahmad was born on March 4, 1924, in Amritsar and migrated to Lahore during independence in 1947. He is considered pioneer of the goldsmith and jewellers movement in Pakistan. He has to his credit the honour of organizing the scattered businessmen of this trade at a platform. Haji Manzoor formed an association, convincing his colleagues that only a united movement could solve their problems and put the industry on the right track. 

      He started his business in famous Soha Bazar, Lahore, and continued serving the interest of the community. The year 1955 saw his election as General Secretary of the Soha Bazar Association, which polished his leadership skills. Then he organized jewellers at Lahore level and afterwards across Pakistan. He strengthened All Pakistan Sarafa and Jewellers Association and also served as its President. His whole life is full of devotion and hard work for the promotion of gold trade and to safeguard the interests of the jewellers' community. It was the result of his hectic efforts that a law was enacted. According to this law, if somebody sells stolen jewellery items to a jeweller, that shopkeeper should not be taken to task as he has bought it in good faith, considering the seller as a genuine owner of the articles. 

      Haji Manzoor Ahmad also united the sarafa community against taxes levied on this community during Yehya Khan regime, waged struggle against unjustifiable intervention of bureaucracy and his biggest achievement was introduction of latest prevailing system of weighing gold in grams instead of old system of 'Tola, Masha & Ratti. He was also fond of social service and took active part in the national politics and other activities. That was why an award was instituted in the name of Haji Manzoor Ahmad by the Lahore Division Sarafa and Jewelers Association, which is conferred on those who excel in the field of jewelry trade. The World Gold Council sponsors this award. A five-member committee has been constituted for this purpose, which selects deserving and competent jewelers and traders with the approval of the Executive Committee of the Lahore Division Sarafa and Jewelers Association. This award is given every year. Haji Manzoor Ahmad conceived the idea of Gold Art Promotion Council â - Pakistan . The main purpose of its formation is to have a platform, rising above politics and specific interest and work solely to promote gold trade and expertise of artisans.

 


 

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