Manufacturing and trading of religious symbols in a multi-billion dollar business. Pakistan still lacks investment and may have capacity for business.
According to London-based Edbiz consulting, the yearly trade of religious signs is expected to be nearly $17.5 billion. These signs are sold in the form of jewellery, posters, chimes and other objects like statues. The largest buyers of these holy symbols are Catholics ($4.35 billion) followed by Chinese ($4.11 billion) and Hindus ($4.09 billion). Christians excluding Catholics buy $2.15 billion worth of religious icons while Muslims with $1.93 billion spending comes in fifth position in the list.
Interestingly, among Muslims, only Shia community spends almost half of the amount ($950 million) while they are only 15% of the total Muslims around the world. Sunni Muslims tend to buy different items “marketed” by the Sufis including amulets and various stones.
Promotion for amulets is huge and increasing as time progresses. With the increase in Muslim population in the Western hemisphere, the amulets are being sold via e-shops and other modern means of communication.
Estimations suggest that Pakistani Muslim spend $200 million in a year on religious amulets. It is less than 1% of the total Gross Domestic Product of the country, indicating a vast space for establishment of new business.