KARACHI: The potential of furniture industry is stated to be quite enormous and the frequent holding of ‘Interiors Pakistan’ exhibition in mega cities is developing entrepreneurship through various capacity building measures and educating woodworkers to adopt modern designs efficiently on high-end furniture machines besides triggering further investments and employment in the country.
This was stated by S.M. Muneer, Patron-in-Chief United Business Group and former Chief Executive Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP). Inaugurating the exhibition at Expo Center here on Friday, he maintained that the potential of furniture industry here in Pakistan is enormous and that within 2-3 years, it could even be double if the government patronized this industry.
He said the exhibition featured a comprehensive range of furniture by a diverse portfolio of quality exhibitors; and attracts a healthy and well-represented attendance of trade buyers and visitors.
Appreciating the role of PFC in organizing frequent exhibitions inside the country, S.M. Muneer said such exhibitions would allow companies the opportunity to increase brand awareness and have the chance to strengthen relationships with their existing customers as well as establish relations with international exhibiting companies attending the fair.
Muneer was of the view that Pakistan can earn billions of rupees by increasing export volume of furniture items but there is also need of what he termed `export friendly policies’. Vice President SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry Iftikhar Ali Malik addessing on the occasion said the employment generated by the timber industry is absolutely critical to the working class and it is therefore equally critical that the industry takes even bigger steps towards making this industry truly sustainable.
However, he said, the illegal cutting of timber over time- without any new plantations to replace the trees- has led to an acute shortage of local hardwood for the city’s furniture makers. Besides, the illiterate and unskilled labour is also stunting the industry’s growth.
He said with a little innovation, investment and government support, furniture industry can generate even more employment and income from sustainable economy.
He said textiles and rice are currently the largest exports of Pakistan bringing in $14 billion and $2 billion of foreign exchange, respectively. Furniture exports on the other hand stand at a meager $51 million.
‘I am impressed by the quality work which has been displayed here by the young designers who are specializing in furniture. Unique ideas can be lifted by the commercial companies time to come,’ he added.
Chief Executive PFC Mian Kashif Ashfaq said that the ‘Interiors Pakistan’ is an opportunity for the largest furniture companies and interior designers across the country to display their products. The council expects that there will be over 200,000 visitors based on the success of the previous exhibitions.
He further said that with its previous experience, the PFC remained one of the most distinctive channels for regional and international companies to penetrate the global market. It is renowned among international buyers for quality, value and wide selection of all types of furniture.
‘We all have to invest and work hard, so that PFC and its Furniture Fair remains the only place and time where people have to be in order to learn about the latest news and the best creative endeavors’, he added.
The exhibition housed national and international brands showcasing over 1,000 products and services for the time in Pakistan. The products are of interest to interior designers, builders, hoteliers and the general consumer.
Following inauguration, the dignitaries were taken around the stalls and expressed keen interest in the exhibition.