Lahore : First high level delegation of Pakistan
Furniture Council (PFC) of the year Tuesday left for five different
European countries Germany, Portugal, Austria, Spain and Italy on a weeklong visit to explore new markets and strengthening existing bilateral trade relations with their counterparts in furniture industry during business to business contacts.
The delegation, headed by its Chief Executive Mian Muhammad Kashif, would avail the opportunity to study about the latest trends of designing of products and modern technologies in their fields to better their trade to compete global markets.
Talking to media prior to his departure to Germany, Mian Kashif said the delegation during first leg of visit would also attend 3-day international trade fair Heimtextil 2018 commencing from 9 January at Frankfurt (Germany) to explore new markets. He said this business tour would provide a chance to explore new avenues by sharing vision, expertise for formulation of future policies, economic studies, sectoral and project specific reports
besides promotional efforts.
The delegation would have one on one direct interaction with foreign business leaders, researchers and investors in European countries, he said adding the tour would enable investors to identify potential organizations to partner and developing successful regional economic strategies and support regionally vital businesses.
He was of the view that economic and trade relations between Pakistan and Europe possess great potential and there was dire need for Pakistani business community to focus on improving their competitiveness in the European market.
“Many furniture retailers in Pakistan prefer to import furniture from Italy and sell the products in local market, but Pakistani furniture industry is also equally enjoying superb potential to compete. PFC is playing a significant role in boosting furniture exports and local manufacturers should also join hands with the council to help it achieve its goals,” he added.
He further 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 total exports. Pakistani foreign missions should explore new avenues and holding fairs in their respective countries.
Answering a question, he said Pakistan shows the best potential of
increasing its exports to the EU among all countries benefiting from the GSP (Generalised Scheme of Preferences) Plus. He said Pakistan’s business community is not only targeting to step up exports to the EU, but is also striving to strengthen the partnership that will facilitate growth in trade
with major partners such as the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Austria, Portugal, France and Italy.
He 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.
In response to yet another question about decline in export, he said our exports declined due to three-fold rise in cost of timber used for furniture export and competition with foreign exporters. Re-constitution of Federal timber board, comprising private and public sector members is necessary to restructure sheesham wood plantation and ban its illegal export. Utility costs, improper wood seasoning, sub standard finishing, packing, poor designs, quality and not meeting world standard are other hindrances in enhancing exports,” he pointed out.

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