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Pakistan Furniture Council (PFC) CEO Mian Kashif Ashfaq said on Saturday that the furniture industry, enriched with innovative designs, has a big potential to dominate global markets and could significantly contribute to exports.

However, a package of incentives and facilitation was direly needed for boosting the exports, he said.

He was talking to a delegation of foreign and local investors, led by Honorary Investment Counsellor Milan and Tourism Ambassador to Italy Muhammad Sheheryar Khan.

Unfortunately, “the furniture sector has remained badly neglected. It needs federal and provincial governments’ attention and measures to train woodworkers on modern lines,” Ashfaq emphasised.

“There is an urgent need to explore the international market for expanding our exports as there is a lot of potential in Pakistani products.”

Although the value of furniture export was very nominal, the initiative had already been taken. An aggressive marketing strategy could double the value of exports in a short span of time, he hoped.

The volume of export can touch the figure of $5 billion in the next five years provided the government extends its support to the furniture manufacturers.

“Pakistan is blessed with abundant resources and people have the best skills that can help develop the industry on modern lines,” he added.

He lauded the work of young designers and architects whose work was displayed in an exhibition along with that of other national and international leading furniture manufacturing companies.

Ashfaq stressed that the PFC was committed to supporting Pakistan’s young furniture entrepreneurs and interior designers whose innovative thinking had the potential to unlock the great economic prosperity.

The PFC CEO pointed out that exhibitions provided an opportunity to young designers and architects to assess market trends and display their work alongside established professionals in the field. “The domestic exhibition is a step towards initiating international trade fairs and paves the way for promoting Pakistan’s furniture industry,” he said.

On the occasion, Pakistan Leather Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association Chairman Hassan Ali Bhatti said the leather industry was also associated with the furniture sector and assured the furniture manufacturers of providing the world-class leather, which would be used in furniture making.

Sheheryar Khan invited businessmen to explore the hidden export market in Italy and have one-on-one interaction with their counterparts for the promotion of best-quality, hand-made wooden furniture.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 10th, 2022.

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