All that you need to know about Pakistan’s furniture exportsShiza Wasti
In present times, people are very much interested in the décor of their houses and prefer spending their incomes to renovate their abodes. Furniture trading is a lucrative business because furniture products are used in every house. The wedding season is the most moneymaking time for this business.
Pakistan is one of the best producers of furniture. In 2014, Pakistani furniture had showed amazing growth. Exports of furniture increased by 16.31 per cent in one year from July 2013 to July 2014, according to the data maintained by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS). Pakistan earned $0.770 million from furniture exports in July 2014, compared to the amount of $0.662 million in July 2013. Moreover, the exports of furniture increased by 8.30 per cent in July 2014.
Pakistan furniture industry has a great scope in various countries such as UK, USA, Sri Lanka, and Gulf states, but unfortunately it has been unable to maintain much of the market share due to the lack of modern technology and resources.
Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Regional Chairman and Vice President Mian Rehman Aziz said that the local furniture industry has a potential add massively to the national exchequer and it can make a great contribution of billions of dollars from annual exports. He added that if the government properly upheld their industry, furniture exports would see a boost. According to Aziz, textile exports currently amount to $14 billion annually. The second largest export of Pakistan is rice, which adds $2 billion per annum to the national exchequer. He said if government gave proper attention to the furniture industry, the value of exports would be increased from $51 million to $5 billion in the next five years. He suggested that the government should start programmes to develop and promote the furniture sector both in rural and urban areas. He also stressed on using modern techniques which enhance productivity and creativity and develop the skills of labour through which we can meet and compete with the requirements of global and local markets.
Pakistan Furniture Council (PFC) Chief Executive Mian Muhammad Kashif Ashfaq stated on his return after representing Pakistan in the 6-day International Fair for Furniture and Interior that the furniture products with calligraphic engravings had a great demand in local and international markets. He said that Pakistani furniture was a little more expensive as compared to the machine-made furniture items produced in various other countries. He said most of the countries have great scope for Pakistani furniture, as people living on other countries like Pakistani traditional hand-carved furniture designs. He also emphasised on the need to participate in international furniture shows to promote Pakistan’s furniture industry.
“Pakistan furniture industry has made great strides over the past few years. Owing to the growing interior décor industry that has paved way for skilled workers, furniture manufacturers and interior designers have set benchmarks that have attracted foreign clientele,”Ashfaq said.
He recommended that Pakistani craftsmen should focus on working in this particular area in order to earn more foreign exchange. He also appreciated the role of PFC for introducing the latest techniques in the furniture market of Pakistan, which help furniture brands in manufacturing high-quality and latest products.
He said that PFC was planning to devise strategies to increase furniture exports and aimed to achieve the milestone of $850 million exports by the end of 2017 if the government starts establishing training centres for skilled labour, launched women development schemes and introduces high-tech machinery.
“We initiated our journey to gain recognition for the industry globally,” said Ashfaq. According to him, the furniture industry of Pakistan has a great potential and talent but we need to polish our skills in order to become one of the largest exporters of furniture.