Foreign furniture manufacturers and investors show keen interest in Interiors Pakistan exhibition

Salim ahmed

Lahore

Over a score of foreign furniture manufacturers and investors have evinced keen interest in a 3-day exhibition “ 9th Pakistan Interiors Exhibition 2017”, commencing from December 15 at Lahore Expo Centre.
It was revealed here Saturday by Chief Executive Pakistan Furniture Council Mian Kashif Ashfaq while presiding over a board of directors meeting attended by Khawaja Maqbool Elahi, Shahzad Yousaf Mughal, Shahbaz Aslam and Rizwan Amjad.
The exhibition, being organised by the Pakistan Furniture Council (PFC), has garnered great interest among the people concerned and international market. The industry is rife with anticipation for various opportunities and ideas that the PFC will offer, says a PFC press release issued here today.
Over 100 local and foreign companies have so far confirmed their participation in the mega show by getting their stall booked. He said that the PFC was on a mission and wanted to educate people about the value of owning fine hand-crafted furniture.“This time again, the PFC continues to expand its global footprint by welcoming visitors from different countries including China, Italy, Singapore, USA, Australia, Japan, Philippines, the UK, Bulgaria, Denmark, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Vietnam.“Exhibitors will have an opportunity to meet new buyers for networking and market expansion,” he added.
He said that the exhibition would also provide the younger designers and architects with an opportunity to witness the market trends and display their own works alongside that of more established professionals. PFC CEO said that the show would offer a full range of furniture with extensive selections of modern and contemporary styles for dining, bedroom, living room, office, occasional, children, outdoor as well as furniture fittings and hardware.
“As we’re working, we’re always striving for a higher degree of excellence,” Kashif said. “The problem with furniture making is that it takes so much labour. So one of our goals is to show people what we do and why our work is worth what it costs them.”
“The 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 the international market,” he added.
Pakistan’s wood industry is well developed and captures 95% of the country’s total market for furniture. The country has more than 700 units of wooden furniture with Chiniot alone meeting 80% of furniture demand in the country, Gujarat with world-class furniture, Peshawar, Lahore and Karachi being important sale/purchase centres.
The market is divided into home use and contract markets, constituting supplies to hotels, restaurants, offices and public facilities.
Mian Kashif Ashgaq who is also CEO Chen One said Pakistan imported furniture worth Rs1.69 billion in 2015-16, which is mere wastage of our hard-earned foreign exchange.This industry, combined with the handicraft industry, is employing about 50,000 people. “If local industry expands, new opportunities of employment would be generated,” he added.
Secretary PFC Hamid Mahmood briefing the meeting said Pakistan was not known globally as a furniture market which could convince international business community about innovation and quality of Pakistani products.
He suggested that the government should encourage and support business houses to invest and develop trustworthy furniture trade markets. There is a need for holding exhibitions in the EU member states to raise awareness about Pakistan’s traditional and innovative products, he added.
He said that Europe would be the biggest market for Pakistan’s textile products in future. However, Pakistan should also focus on other exportable products to increase its share in European market and reduce dependence on traditional exports. In Pakistan, he said, most of the furniture was hand-made but still it was very cheap and could be marketed in EU countries at a better price.

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