LAHORE – Pakistan Furniture Council (PFC) Chief Executive Mian Kashif Ashfaq on Saturday said Pakistan has great potential to export at least one billion dollars handmade wood furniture annually if the government properly patronizes furniture industry by offering an attractive package of incentives.
Chairing a meeting of the board of directors here at PFC head office, Mian Kashif urged the government to introduce a skill development programme for the export-oriented furniture industry with a view to promoting the country’s value-added sector. “I believe that the tax exempted furniture sector in Pakistan will enliven the economy in general. New jobs will be created and production levels will increase, making the economy actors happy. We have already seen the signs of a rebound in the economy,” he said.
He said there is an urgent need to explore international market for boosting our exports as there is a lot of potential for increasing Pakistani furniture export. He said the value of furniture export was very nominal but the beginning had been made, and with aggressive marketing strategy the value of exports could be doubled in a short span.
He said the variety and traditional expertise of woodworkers and craftsmen has a huge potential for exports, and can cater not only to local market but also to the wealthy looking for unique furniture items at international market,” he added. “By doing this, we will not only diversify our export basket but this will also contribute to GDP growth and provide employment opportunities to numerous people having varying skills in furniture making,” he added.
Mian Kashif said there is a need to devise a comprehensive strategy to promote the industry on commercial basis which will not only support the manufactures but also increase our export across the world. He said good working environment will enhance the capacity of our workers enabling them to compete internationally.
He further said that foreign companies have shown keen interest in Pakistani market. He urged the Pakistani businessmen to start joint ventures with their foreign counterparts.
“All this can happen if there is government’s will and a vision amongst furniture traders.
Joint ventures with foreign companies through trade commissions for providing machines on lease can bring product quality at par with highest international standards,” he said.