Pakistan Furniture Council mulls promotion of furniture industryAsma Anjum
Growth of the furniture industry facilitates skilled labour, interior designers, and furniture manufacturers to grab the attention of international clientele. Pakistan furniture industry indeed has export potential, and considering this, various players in the industry are endeavouring to capitalise on it.
According to a news report, nine prominent interior and furniture entrepreneurs took an initiative last year to develop Pakistan Furniture Council (PFC) with the mandate of utilising available resources to skyrocket furniture exports of the country to $5 billion in a period of five years. This cutting-edge initiative was then followed by an exhibition based on furniture and interior design, but regrettably no significant activity was observed during the year.
Members of the PFC now look forward to achieving a milestone of aligning various stuffs in the industry, including the availability of man-power and raw material. The industry is in a dire need of skilled labour, and effective training is needed to be provided to the workers scattered in the furniture hubs like Chiniot, Gojra, Peshawar, and Gujrat. Nevertheless, consumer ignorance, receding economy, and increased costs of commodities are impeding the growth of the industry.
According to PFC Company Secretary Mr Faisal Mohsin, the industry needs skilled labour for producing antique cultural furniture. Moreover, non-availability of materials used for value-addition trammels the expansion of the industry further.
“We have to import about 80% of wood from foreign countries to meet our demands. We have planned to set up a warehouse to store required materials to allow our members to procure materials locally, instead of importing materials on their own. Furthermore, we are set to develop an institute in Lahore to offer state-of-the-art internship programs to interested individuals.”
On the other hand, PFC is likely to hold an exhibition in Lahore in the looming time, and plans to ensure its presence in international exhibitions to promote the industry. Comparing to the last year’s furniture exports of $51 million, the exports this year increased by 10% only, which is not even close to the budget of $5 billion set by the council.
If PFC achieves the target of $5 billion, the furniture industry will become second largest in terms exports, following the textile industry whose exports hover around $14 billion.