PFC chief pins high hopes with PTI govt

Salim Ahmed

Lahore

Pakistan Furniture Council (PFC) Chief Executive Mian Kashif Ashfaq has expressed the hope that the coming PTI government would utilize all available resources to put Pakistan on the path of self-reliance as our country needs trade not aid to overcome its economic woes and rebuild economy which was badly hit due to unfitting economic policies of the previous governments.
Chairing a board of directors meeting here, he said Pakistan should develop warm business relations with European countries as well as with USA instead of seeking aid and he said if proper steps will be taken in this regard, Pakistan’s exports to these countries would be doubled within short span.
He said immediately the coming government should take measurements to remove Pakistan from grey list of the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) which is hampering exports to European countries as well .
He said that the European bloc will remain the biggest export market for the country’s furniture sector in coming years despite a huge influx of Chinese investment in the South Asian nation. Bilateral trade between the EU and Pakistan stood at €10.5 billion in 2017.
“The first target should be to at least triple the trade figure in coming years,” he said. We need to create expanded economic opportunities for the teeming millions. It is important that Pakistan is allowed market access to the countries of European Union,” Mian Kashif said.
Throwing light on the expansion plan of Pakistan handmade world class furniture products, PFC Chief said the demand of Pakistani furniture articles in international markets is on rise and there is need to pay focus on provision of raw wood and proper training to carpenters. He said when PFC delegation was in Europe to participate in different furniture fairs, he said German, Italian and Spanish furniture producing companies showed their interest in Pakistani market.
He said that Pakistan should take full advantage of geographical positions of Germany and Spain in the European Union (EU). He added that the PTI future government should give financial help to furniture makers in Pakistan to visit international markets which will provide them ample chances to explore new avenues by sharing vision and expertise for the formulation of future policies, economic studies, sectors and project specific reports besides promotional efforts.

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