Over 30 foreign companies to showcase their furniture products in 3-day mega 11th Interiors Pakistan Exhibition being held from November 22 here at Expo Centre.
Pakistan Furniture Council Chief Executive Mian Muhammad Kashif Ashfaq here on Sunday talking to a delegation of furniture manufacturers 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 last week of the instant month.
The council expects that more than 70 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.
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.
“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. He said Pakistan’s wood industry is well developed and captures 95% of the country’s total market for furniture.
PFC Chief said Pakistan imported furniture worth of Rs1.69 billion in 2017-18 , which is a mere consumption of our hard earned foreign exchange. Furthermore, import of furniture items could create a viable threat of unemployment in local furniture industry. He said 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. “If local industry expands, new opportunities of employment would be generated,” he added.
Mian Kashif demanded immediate imposition of ban on import of furniture to provide new lease of life to this industry as well as fully exploit its potential for earning foreign exchange.