ISLAMABAD: Chinese investors of furniture industry Wednesday inked Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to further enhance collaboration to class modern design furniture to compete in international market by making them cost and quality efficient and pave way for improved trade ties between business communities of both the countries.
According to a press statement issued here Wednesday, the ceremony was held here at headquarter of Pakistan Furniture Council in which all leading local brands participated while PFC Chief Mian Kashif Ashfaq signed MoU on behalf of Chenone Furniture factory,Khurrianwala,district Faisalabad while Chu Lee represented Chinese company.
Talking to media on this occasion, Mian Kashif Unfolded the distinguish features of MoU and said China was interested in enhancing furniture business with local furniture producers, undertaking joint-venture projects either in China or in Pakistan and sharing technology with Pakistan.
He said PFC in collaboration with Chinese furniture manufacturing producers would organize training workshops in Pakistan for practical demonstration to enhance capacity building and improvement of furniture quality. “Cottage industry is the biggest source of employment in rural areas of the country and there is need to promote the skill and craft our workers to provide them more opportunities for earning their livelihood,” he added.
Responding to a query, PFC Chief said the furniture industry is focused more on the domestic market which is expanding very fast on the back of growing consumer spending and a booming housing and construction sector, along with a huge jump in remittances sent by the Pakistanis working abroad in the recent years.
He said there is a dire need of expanding our capacity building so that local furniture manufacturers could handle large export orders and line up to compete with their competitors at international markets.
He said Pakistan could still earn a lot of foreign exchange by creating a high-end ‘niche’ market for its traditional and ethnic furniture. “Our industry has no contact with any global brand or store, which is essential to boost exports.
On this occasion, the Chinese delegation expressed their gratitude for hosting a visit to understand the local markets in Pakistan. They said “Pakistan can enhance its exports to $35 billion for which serious efforts are needed.”
They were of the view that that growing relations between Pakistan and China were not only mutually beneficial, but they would have a positive impression in the entire region.
They ensured PFC Chief Mian Kashif that visa procedure was being improved for Pakistani businessmen and the business community should participate in exhibitions and seminars in China to improve the understanding and trade.
Later PFC Secretary Hamid Mahmood briefed the Chinese delegation about the projects being started to promote local furniture industry in Pakistan. He said if we are able to protect our local market against cheaper imports and encourage our local industry, we can create a supply chain required to boost our overseas sales at a later point. He further said in the absence of an official policy supporting the furniture industry, the PFC is working on a plan to set up common display centres and model units, with the help of China, Turkey and Italy, for encouraging small producers to adopt new technologies and boost their local and overseas sales.