Need for exploring new foreign markets stressed to boost furniture export

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Salim Ahmed

Lahore—Pakistan furniture industry has a great scope in UK, USA, Sri Lanka, and Gulf States but there is a need to explore new markets.
Talking to newsmen here Saturday on his return after representing Pakistan in the 6-day International Fair for Furniture in North Carolina USA, Pakistan Furniture Council (PFC) Chief Executive Mian Muhammad Kashif Ashfaq said the main objective of this tour was to explore new markets and build connections with American business community in furniture industry.
He said that his visit proved successful and he learnt a lot about modern designs of various types of furniture products. He also studied various aspects furniture export. He said that he held a series of fruitful meetings with his counterparts of various countries and discussed the ways and means to enhance multi lateral trade ties with them especially in furniture industry.
He said that during the visit, he also extended invitation to majority of exhibitors of all leading companies and furniture importers to participate in 3-days the 6th International Interiors Pakistan exhibition scheduled to be held on Nov 25 next in Lahore and most of the them showed their keen interest to display their stalls besides visit of various outlets of furniture industry .He said that the members of the delegation also shared their practical experiences with them and learnt about their skills and modern techniques in manufacturing furniture products to meet the standards of international marketing.
Answering a question, he said small businesses often have specific financing needs and may require funding support to compete in international markets or to fulfill export-related supply chain contracts so it is the responsibility of the government to give status of industry to furniture in Pakistan. He said business oriented tour to USA was a big success and such tours can 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.”
He said foreigners 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 amongst furniture traders.
Mian Muhammad Kashif Ashfaq 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.
He 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 centers for skill workmanship, women development schemes and high tech machinery.
He 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 exports. Pakistani foreign missions should explore new avenues and holding fairs in their respective countries.
He 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 exports. Pakistani foreign missions should explore new avenues and holding fairs in their respective countries.

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