Irshad Salim (BE2C2 Report) — Pakistan can earn billions of dollars annually through furniture exports, said Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Regional Chairman and Vice-President Manzoorul Haq Malik in Lahore on Tuesday.
Talking to a delegation of Pakistan Furniture Council (PFC), headed by its Chief Executive Mian Kashif Ashfaq, Malik said the furniture sector attached great importance to the national economy and could make a substantial contribution worth billions, if the government properly patronized it on priority basis for boosting exports of handmade furniture.
Related article: From Karachi to Kyrgyz, a Made-in-Pakistan furniture story
He stressed the need for establishing greater liaison with the sector to fully understand market conditions and requirements of the industry. On the occasion, Ashfaq apprised the FPCCI official that they had held seven consecutive successful mega exhibitions of Interiors Pakistan across the country.
Owing to vast amounts of natural resources underexploited during the Soviet era, the five central Asian countries –Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan – make the region a $339 billion plus strong economy with varying levels of purchasing power and a largely untapped market. Recently, a Pakistani furniture firm Dimensions, supplied and installed a Kyrgyzstan varslity’s classrooms, library, student dormitories, the faculty and staff residences, etc.
The Karachi-based furniture outfit won the international bid and successfully supplied and installed every piece of the high-end furniture at the 13,927 square meter UCA campus— almost all of them made in Pakistan.
“What I understood from my experience is that there is so much that we can export to Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhistan…there is such a small variety of goods in these countries and most of it is imported from Europe and sold at the rate of Euros,” said Syed Mahir Shehzad Shehzad of the Dimensions.
“This is a largely untapped market and Central Asia is such a large region, it can be a major strength for Pakistani manufacturers and exporters,” Shehzad said — he has recently signed another major contract in Central Asia.
According to a new market report published by Credence Research,’Furniture Market- Growth, Future Prospects, Competitive Analysis, and Forecast 2016 – 2023,’ the global furniture market has been estimated to be valued at $138 billion by the end of 2016, and is expected to reach $187 billion by 2023.
Industry experts say the Middle East alone accounts for 12 to 18 percent of this market — projected to be in the range of $22-$34 billion by 2023, with major construction ongoing in the hospitality, educational and health institution sectors.
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