Pakistan furniture in great demand in international markets: Kashif Ashfaq

 
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LAHORE, Sept 16 (TNS): Pakistan hand-made world class furniture is in great demand in international markets and exporting furniture to China can be an uphill task for Pakistani manufacturers due to the neck to neck competition in Chinese markets but still many are succeeding to tap Chinese furniture market with patience and the right partners.

These views were expressed by Pakistan Furniture Council (PFC) chief Mian Kashif Ashfaq while talking to media here on Saturday who was heading a high level delegation of PFC to China for business to business contact with their counterparts.

He said barriers to exporting furniture goods to China still exist for small businesses in Pakistan. “Small business owners often lack information about exporting, have an unclear understanding of how to get started, fear they won’t get paid by customers, and believe that exporting is too costly,” he added.

Highlighting the main purposes of PFC delegation’s tour to China, Mian Kashif said the delegation will explore new markets and strengthening existing bilateral trade relations with their counterparts in furniture industry besides availing the opportunity to study about the latest designing of products and modern technologies in their fields to improve their businesses to compete global markets.

 

“The delegation will aim to link business leaders, researchers and investors of both countries, he added. The tour will enable investors to identify potential organisations to partner and developing successful regional economic strategies and support regionally vital businesses, he added.

He said despite a small branch in the furniture industry, outdoor furniture contains huge market potential and they will try to exploit this branch as outdoor furniture is in great demand due to the Chinese government’s ever increasing attention to expand public gardens in China.

He informed that interaction with business organisations from the public and private sectors of China will open vistas of opportunities for delegates that ultimately boost cross-border business and trade collaboration.

Mian Kashif Ashfiaq was of the view that despite imbalances in volume of trade between Pakistan and China, economic and trade relations between Pakistan and China held great potential and there was dire need for Pakistani business community to focus on improving their competitiveness in the Chinese market. He urged the businessmen to take full advantage of concessions granted by China under the China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement (CPFTA).

We extend our support to provide further boost to the upbeat furniture industry of Pakistan, as we want to see it achieve new heights of success, but that would only be possible if all furniture stakeholders work collectively towards the achievement of a common goal,” he added.

Be it office furniture, kids furniture, bedroom furniture or any other type of furniture, Pakistan has the capacity to gain its fair share in international markets. However, the government needs to provide robust backing to the furniture industry. Otherwise, individual efforts may not fetch coveted results.

If Pakistan can earn foreign income of $8 million to $12 million in a year from furniture exports, a sizable spike in these figures can be seen if effectual and appropriate measures are taken by furniture manufacturers in Pakistan and vigorous support is provided by the government.

Answering a question, he said Pakistan has so far failed to tap the huge potential of its bilateral trade with China. Though China’s global imports have crossed one $1trillion, yet Pakistan’s exports to China are still short of one billion dollar mark.