Chief Editor: Ansar Mahmood Bhatti

PFC delegation leaves for America on 2-weeks for exploring new furniture markets

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LAHORE, AUG 05 (DNA) – A high level delegation of Pakistan Furniture Council (PFC) left for America on Saturday  on 2 weeks   visit to explore new markets and  strengthen  existing bilateral trade relations  with American business community in furniture industry.

The PFC delegation headed by its Chief Executive Mian Muhammad Kashif will avail the opportunity to study about the latest designing  of  products and  modern technologies in their fields  to improve their businesses  to compete global  markets.

Talking to media prior to departure for America, Mian Kashif said such business-oriented tours could play a pivotal role for Pakistani furniture manufacturers in achieving the furniture export target of more than $1 billion annually in the international furniture markets.

Answering a question, he said Pakistan’s major buyers of wooden furniture are the UK, the USA, Sri Lanka and Gulf countries like the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Kuwait. The United States buys mostly bedroom furniture. UK and the Gulf countries import kitchen furniture and office furniture. For example, one of the British retail chain sells some Pakistani furniture at its outlets. More than 80 percent of the furniture demand in the country is met by the Chinioti furniture. This industry, combined with the handicraft industry, is employing about 50,000 people.

He quoted the example of Japan that has great scope for Pakistani Furniture, because they like Pakistani traditional hand-carved furniture designs with classic finishing and similar designs can be replicated in USA market, therefore efforts must be made to promote furniture exports by more regular participation in international shows. All this can happen if there is government’s strong will for it and a vision among furniture traders.

He said that furniture with calligraphic engraving had great demand in local and international markets, which seems to be the dominant one in Pakistan, therefore Pakistani craftsmen should focus on working in this particular area to earn the much-needed foreign exchange.

 In this regard he appreciated the role of PFC in bringing the latest technical know-how in Pakistan to develop the local Furniture Industry for manufacturing quality products competitive with the international market.

When Mian Kashif was asked how to boost the exports of the furniture items, he said the government should immediately remove snags hampering export of furniture and take steps to curb sheesham wood smuggling in garb of raw material besides awarding it a status of full fledged industry.

Secretary PFC Hamid Mahmood who was present on the occasion  said PFC is planning a strategy to enhance exports and this sector could touch more than $850 million export target by year 2017 if provided training centre   for skill workmanship, women development schemes and high tech machinery.

He further said that Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) should support exporters of furniture at international furniture exhibitions. Exports to Italy, France, USA were around 55% of total exports. Pakistani foreign missions should explore new avenues and holding fairs in their respective countries.=DNA

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