$20b Pak hand-made furniture can be exported: Mian Kashif

Salim Ahmed

Lahore—Pakistan has potential to export $20 billion hand-made best quality international standard furniture if the government fully patronizes furniture industry in Pakistan. Addressing a press conference here Monday, Chief Executive Pakistan Furniture Council Mian Kashif Ashfaq said Pakistan is only country which produces hand-made solid wood furniture in the world which is great in demand globally.
He said foreign delegations hailing from seven countries are visiting the Pakistan Furniture Council (PFC) 3-day 6th Interiors Pakistan Exhibition going to be commenced from November 25 in Expo Centre Lahore. He said British High Commissioner will inaugurate this mega exhibition while Italian Ambassador will participate in the closing ceremony.
Answering a question, he said the essence of these exhibitions was promoting the furniture and associated products made in Pakistan at local and international level. He said that delegations from China,Italy,United Kingdom, Turkey, Hong Kong, Thailand and, Bangkok have confirmed while more participation is also expected from other countries in the second week of the instant month.
The council expects that more than 50 leading local companies and interior designers will display their products while as many as 200,000 to 250,000 visitors to visit this mega exhibition.
Interior’s Pakistan is a step towards initiating international trade exhibitions and also to enhance the possibility to participate in international exhibitions as a collaborative industry from Pakistan. The Pakistan furniture industry has a great potential in future and the council predicts that the increased exposure through Interiors Pakistan will highlight the skill and talent in the country. This exhibition will also provide the younger designers and architects to see the market trends and display their own work alongside that of more established professionals.
Talking about the philosophy behind these exhibitions, PFC chief Mian Kashif Ashfaq said “The vision behind Interiors Pakistan is to create a space for furniture display and promotion across the country. The national exhibitions groom local producers to access the international markets and increase their potential markets,” adding he said this exhibition will also provide the younger designers and architects to study the market trends.
He said the Pakistan furniture industry has the potential to be a substantial one at multiple levels as it can contribute significantly to the GDP and employ numerous people with varying skills in specialist furniture. Despite its contribution to the Pakistani economy, furniture manufacturing suffers from lack of recognition at a political level, a concern PFC is addressing.
“PFC is also continuing its work to develop a Pakistani presence in more countries and to act as the focal point for Pakistani furniture designers and manufacturers to enter international market,” however, adding he said it requires concerted efforts to ensure that raw material is available, skills are taught and quality control is achieved. Pakistani craftsmen have the skill to create exquisite bespoke pieces but standardizing that production to meet the requirements of international markets requires input from the Pakistan Furniture Council.
Pakistan’s wood industry is well developed and captures 95% of the country’s total market for furniture.

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