ISLAMABAD, (APP):A twenty-five member delegation of Pakistan Furniture Council (PFC) left on Wednesday for China to participate in the 19th China International Industry Fair 2017 being held at National Exhibition and Convention Centre Shanghai.
“The fair will provide an opportunity to explore new avenues by sharing vision, expertise for formulation of future policies, economic studies, sectoral and project specific reports besides promotional efforts,” a press release quoted Pakistan Furniture Council (PFC) Chief Mian Kashif Ashfaq. He 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). He said that the trade increased despite the fact that Pakistani businessmen used only 3.3% of the total tariff lines. He said Pakistan could only export in 253 tariff lines out of the total 7,550, where average export value was $500. He said that there was a great demand of Pakistani furniture products abroad as its designs are unique besides popularity of properly processed high quality wood for its durability.
He said 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. Mian Kashif said despite a small branch in the furniture industry, outdoor furniture contains huge market potential and they would 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 would open vistas of opportunities for delegates that ultimately boost cross-border business and trade collaboration. PFC Chief said 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, he added.
He said that invitation will also be extended to Chinese counterparts for participating in the forthcoming three-day international mega exhibition of ì9th Interior Pakistani being held at Expo Centre Lahore Pakistan from December 15. Secretary PFC Hamid Mahmood said if Pakistan can earn foreign income of $8 million to $12 million in a year from furniture exports, a sizeable spike in these figures can be seen if effectual and appropriate measures are taken by furniture manufacturers in Pakistan.