Lahore - Federal Commerce Minister, Khurram Dastgir, has declared full support for the declining handmade carpet sector in the country, approving Rs.7.5 million for the 33rd International Pakistan Hand-knotted Carpet Exhibition being held from October 6-9 in Lahore.

This was announced by him in a meeting with the delegation of Pakistan Carpet Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PCMEA), consisting of Exhibition Committee Chairman Major (Retd) Akhtar Nazir Khan Cooki, Exhibition chief organizer, Qamar Zia and PCMEA Chairman Usman Ghani.

The minister said that the government is working with the people in the carpet industry to make the business environment more export-friendly. He noted that due to absence of incentives, political instability and energy shortage, the export of Pakistan-made carpets have fallen from $300 million to $120 million in last five-six years.

Khurram Dastgir said that the government is determined to facilitate hand-knotted carpet industry, resolving issues ranging from infrastructural shortcomings to skill and product development and research to enhance trade volume for economic stability and growth.

On this occasion, Akhtar Nazir Khan Cooki said that it was encouraging for the exporters to have a long meeting recently with the PM to discuss as to how export of the country could be improved. He appreciated Commerce Minister for assuring full support for boosting industrial production and especially approving such a record package of Rs.7.5 million to conduct Pakistan Carpet Show with a view to promote handmade carpet export.

“We should also arrange maximum exhibitions in the world to convince the international buyers to import Pakistani handmade carpets by portraying the soft image of the country,” he suggested the minister.

Cooki said that this year Carpet Show is going to be the largest showcase of Pakistan’s handmade carpets.

The event will be visited by a large number of buyers from across the world while over 65 national manufacturers will display their products in the exhibition.

He said that the PCMEA will focus more to ensure maximum participation of local new home owners, interior designers, architects and general public in order to create awareness about the carpets as pieces of art created by local artisans.

Exhibition chief organizer Qamar Zia added that delegates from across the world have been invited and it is expected that over 150 foreign companies will visit this magnificent carpet show. He said that that trade fairs represent a significant opportunity for exporters to enhance their brand and product visibility and to promote new and existing products. He said that carpet fair will not only facilitate the entrepreneurs and business owners but also highlight the soft image of the country. The exhibition will provide an excellent opportunity of connecting in the areas of interest.

Qamar Zia, who is also PCMEA senior vice chairman, said carpet exhibition could help put the economy on track because fairs were the key to exhibit the untapped potentials of Pakistan and to introduce Pakistan’s products in the world market.