LAHORE: Advisor to Prime Minister on Commerce, Textiles, Industries Production and Investment, Abdul Razak Dawood Wednesday said that the incumbent government is taking all possible measures to promote regional trade and export-led growth of economy including furniture to bring the country out of the quagmire of the multiple crises.
He expressed these views while talking to PFC Chief Executive Mian Kashif Ashfaq by telephone. He said that the government would give priority to the promotion of export-led growth including furniture sector by enhancing exports and reduce dependence on imports, adding that it had identified many sectors that would boost exports from the country.
He said further said that the good thing was that due to timely policies of the government, the economy of the country would improve in the months to come as Pakistani products were being exported.
Dawood said that workers of this industry had great skills and potential and if used properly, Pakistan could become the best exporter of furniture. He added that with the development of the furniture industry, it would be easy to meet local and international needs. He added that Small and Medium Entrepreneur (SMEs) sector would also be encouraged for playing its role in economic growth and prosperity.
Pakistan Furniture Council (PFC) Chief Executive Mian Kashif Ashfaq has said the market of handmade world-class Pakistani furniture has a huge opportunity for furniture exporters if the government makes policies in accordance with the suggestions of the stakeholders for promotion of export of furniture.
He said that Pakistan needs policies to protect the furniture sector so that the industry can grow in the correct manner. “Currently, we cannot compete with the Chinese market because of their prices, which is largely due to the availability of skilled labor.”
“China, for instance, has over a thousand technical schools and enroll at least 11 million people with the support of their government to ensure that they set up programs that will support the local industry,” he added. He stressed the need for the government and the Pakistani people to increase their patronage of furniture products made by local industry.
Mian Kashif said the good thing is that the business community reposed confidence in prudent economic policies of Prime Minister Imran Khan to put the country on a track leading to progress, prosperity and development.
He said a good working environment will enhance the capacity of our workers enabling them to compete internationally. 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.
“The furniture industry in Pakistan must vigorously transform from cottage or small scale industry to innovative industry through training, upgrading supplies and imports, establishing a woodwork institute and testing laboratories of international standards,” adding he said efforts must be made by promoting furniture exports by more regular participation in international shows.