On April 22, 2010 in Peshawar, Pakistan, the United States Government, in partnership with the NWFP University of Engineering and Technology and the Pakistan Gems and Jewelry Development Company, launched a $600,000 FATA Center of Excellence for Gems and Jewelry to uplift the gem industry and create jobs for the people of FATA.
This center is one tangible example of U.S. and Pakistan cooperation -- cooperation that is part of a results-oriented partnership for the future that the United States and Pakistan reaffirmed during the recent Strategic Dialogue, held March 24-25 in Washington, DC. The United States pledged long-term support for Pakistan's efforts to strengthen democratic institutions, foster economic development, expand opportunity, and defeat the extremist groups who threaten both nations' common security. Progress will come through focused partnerships in a range of substantive areas and from a joint willingness to work constructively to address any difference or difficult issues.
"The establishment of this Center of Excellence will improve extraction techniques, cutting, polishing, and gemstone identification," said U.S. Consul General in Peshawar Ms. E. Candace Putnam. "The U.S. is proud to support the government of Pakistan in improving livelihoods of the people of FATA, and looks forward to a long-term partnership to improve not only livelihoods, but infrastructure, health and education," she said.
"We appreciate support from the international community, especially the U.S., for their focus on community and infrastructure development in FATA," said Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwa Governor Owais Ahmed Ghani. "The gems center will provide livelihood opportunities to the people of NWFP [Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwa] and FATA, thereby contributing significantly towards the attainment of economic growth and stability," he added.
The FATA Center of Excellence for Gems and Jewelry is part of the $750 million support the U.S. government is providing in development assistance to FATA over five years to improve health, education, and infrastructure; develop businesses; and create employment opportunities.