ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastgir said on Friday that the government was committed to supporting the local furniture industry, to benefit its workers and broaden its export base.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of an exhibition titled ‘Interiors Pakistan’ by the Pakistan Furniture Council (PFC), the minister said Pakistan has a “significantly developed furniture industry that has deep traditional roots spread across the country”.
Applauding the work of local craftsmen, the minister said: “The variety and traditional expertise of woodworkers and craftsmen has a huge potential for exports, and can cater not only to the regular furniture market but also to the wealthy looking for unique furniture items.”
Mr Dastgir said the government encourages furniture makers and will guide them in exploring their export potential instead of just competing in the local market.
The exhibition, that will continue till Sunday, November 8, promotes furniture and other related products made locally in Pakistan.
The Pakistan Furniture Council expects 150,000 visitors at the exhibition to witness the artistic and innovative expertise by Pakistani craftsmen.
Some 95 per cent of the furniture made in Pakistan is made from wood. The country has more than 700 furniture manufacturing workshops producing export quality furniture with Chiniot, Gujrat, Peshawar, Lahore and Karachi being the main producers. The furniture market is divided into home use, contract markets, supplying to hotels and restaurants, furniture for offices and for public spaces.
The Chief Operating Officer (CEO) of PFC, Mian Mohammad Kashif Ashfaq, said the exhibition is an opportunity for large furniture companies and interior designers in the country to display their works.
He said: “The potential is largely untapped and there is room for diversification. The market beyond Pakistani borders is substantially larger than the local market.”
The CEO said ‘Interiors Pakistan’ was a space to display furniture and promote it across the country and to introduce local manufacturers to the potentials that the international markets had to offer.
Published in Dawn, November 7th, 2015