ISLAMABAD - Germany, Italian and Spanish furniture producing companies have shown keen interest in Pakistan’s markets and urged the Pakistan’s businessmen to start joint ventures with their European counterparts.

Intention to this regard was shown during the meetings of a delegation of Pakistan Furniture Council (PFC), which had recently visited European countries including Germany, Portugal, Austria, Spain and Italy. The visit aimed at exploring new markets and strengthening existing bilateral trade relations with their counterparts in furniture industry during business to business contacts, said PFC Chief Executive Mian Kashif Ashfaq in a statement on Saturday.

He said that Pakistan should take full advantage of best geographical positions of Germany and Spain in the European Union. He said that this business tour provided ample chances to explore new avenues by sharing vision, expertise for formulation of future policies, economic studies, sectoral and project specific reports besides promotional efforts. He was of the view that economic and trade relations between Pakistan and Europe possessed great potential and there was dire need for Pakistani business community to focus on improving their competitiveness in the European market.

He said that European Union is the largest economy in the world with a GDP per head of €25 000 for its 500 million consumers besides this it is the most open to developing countries and imported more from developing countries than the USA, Canada, Japan and China put together. He said that Pakistan shows the best potential of increasing its exports to the EU among all countries benefiting from the GSP (Generalised Scheme of Preferences) Plus. He said that Pakistan’s business community is not only targeting to step up exports to the EU, but is also striving to strengthen the partnership that will facilitate growth in trade with major partners such as the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Austria, Portugal, France and Italy.

He further said that the European production of furniture components is worth about Euro 5,200 million. “Italy is the leading European producer, exporter, and consumer, while Germany – being the main furniture producer in Europe is the leading importer of furniture components,” adding he said Pakistan export can be increased if the European markets will be explored properly.