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  Govt to support private sector to boost furniture exports: Governor
KARACHI, July 09 (INP): Governor Sindh, Muhammad Zubair has said the government will continue to take measures to support the export sector in Pakistan and especially furniture exporters will be offered a special package of incentives to address the plight of the SME players in this era of difficult and competitive global market. Talking to media persons during his visit to the glittering closing ceremony of 3-day mega 8th Interiors Pakistan exhibition organized by Pakistan Furniture Council (PFC) at expo centre here on Sunday, Muhammad Zubair said the government will fully exploit the huge potential of furniture sector and provide a set of facilities for imparting training to workers attached to this sector. He said the government will also provide an incentive package to furniture makers to boost exports as well as improve the quality and design of local handmade furniture at par with the international standards. The Governor Sindh said Pakistan furniture industry has made great strides over the recent years and it has done so for multiple reasons – a growing interior design industry has paved the way for skilled workers and furniture manufacturers as interior designers have begun to cater to an international clientele and working to global benchmarks.” Chief Executive PFC Mian Kashif Ashfaq, apprising the Governor of the potential of the furniture export, said Pakistan furniture industry has a great scope in UK, USA, Sri Lanka, and Gulf States but there is a need to explore new markets. Responding to question, Mian Kashif said small businesses often have specific financing needs and may require funding support to compete in international markets or to fulfill export-related supply chain contracts so it is the responsibility of the government to give status of industry to furniture in Pakistan. Cities like Chiniot, Gujrat, Peshawar and Gojra are renowned for producing artisans who meet design and production challenges with great success. While the industry has massive achievements to its credits, there are major impediments preventing the growth, impacting sustainability, and restricting access to international business. Increasing costs, economic fluctuations, lack of awareness amongst consumers and legislative issues are adding to the instability of the furniture market. Later, the Governor took a tour of the exhibition. He praised the workmanship, quality and design of the various items on display. Pakistan Furniture Council has expressed its determination to hold similar events in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad with more frequency. Earlier GM PFC Hamid Mehmood informed the Governor that more than two lakh people in three days visited the expo and the sale of nearly Rs 1100 million was recorded. The opening ceremony was graced by the veteran trade leaders United Business Group patron in chief SM Muneer and SAARC Chamber Vice President Iftikhar Ali Malik. PFC members’ board of directors Malik Farooq, Rizwan Amjad and former Senior Vice President FPCCI Khalid Tawab and other businessmen were also present on this occasion. INP/SB/AK
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