LAHORE - Federal Minister for Commerce and Textile Pervaiz Malik on Sunday said the government was not only patronizing the furniture industry, but would fully exploit its potential for boosting its exports, especially to the European countries, Canada and USA.

He was addressing the concluding ceremony of a three-day mega 9th Interiors Pakistan Exhibition held here at Expo Center. He said that with this exhibition, people would also come to know the quality and designs of the products manufactured by Pakistani artists.

Appreciating the efforts of PFC, the minister said it was a pleasant surprise for him to see a variety of classic locally made furniture under one roof which, he added, had the potential to capture foreign buyers. Other members of the PFC Board of Directors Khawaja Maqbool Elahi, Shahzad Yousaf Mughal, Shahbaz Aslam and Rizwan Amjad were also present on the occasion.

He said Pakistan was moving forward in a right direction to attract investment and it was highly appreciable that PFC was exerting full force to create opportunities for the foreign investors in the country by creating business-to-business contacts with furniture producers abroad.

He said that Pakistan’s investment profile had been upgraded by all leading rating agencies on account of successful economic reforms and improved security situation.

He further said that trade fairs were among the most important instruments in business-to-business communications and PFC had been successfully holding this exhibition for the ninth consecutive time in different cities of the country for the promotion of the furniture industry.

He added the government would provide all kinds of support to the furniture producers and designers to organise exhibitions abroad.

Malik said that woodworkers of this industry had great skills and potential and if used properly, Pakistan could become the best exporter of furniture. The minister said that with development of furniture industry, it would be easy to meet local and international demands.

SAARC Chamber Vice President and Chairman of United Business Group (UBG) Iftikhar Ali Malik said Pakistan had the potential to export handmade wooden furniture of worth one billion dollars annually, if the government patronized the furniture industry and if interest-free loans were provided to it on soft terms and conditions. This, he said, would also create plenty of job opportunities for the poor segment of the society.

He said a complete range of furniture was displayed at the exhibition, which attracted a large number of buyers and visitors.