Punjab to impart cotton-picking training among women

LAHORE (APP): Punjab Agriculture Department has decided to provide cotton-picking training to the women who work in cotton fields. The Punjab Agriculture Department spokesman told APP on Sunday that women do not adopt proper methods of cotton-picking due to lack of training. The spokesman said that due to improper methods cotton was not properly saved, which was casting a negative impact on the quality of cotton. Ultimately, farmers suffer as the price of the commodity decreases at international level, he added. The Punjab Agriculture Department spokesman said that keeping in view this problem, the department would train women working in the agriculture department, who will later on provide cotton-picking training to other women. The first phase of cotton-picking training would be completed in July, while the second phase of the training would continue in August and September, he added.


SCCI urges government to set up export promotion councils

SIALKOT (APP): Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) President Majid Raza Bhutta has urged the government to take effective measures for setting up sector specific export promotion councils in the country. The proposed councils should work under the commerce ministry for betterment of export industry, he added. While talking to journalists on Sunday, the SCCI president said that keeping in view fast-changing business trends globally a new concept of shared showrooms has been introduced in various countries. He suggested that shared showrooms and display centres in potential markets should also be set up for providing opportunities to exporters to showcase their products with proper marketing facilities. He said that the shared showrooms strategy would be an opportunity for Pakistan to compete its rivals in the market and take 'Made in Pakistan' branding to another level and ensure increase in exports.

The SCCI president said that the government should provide special incentives to encourage exports in high-priority sectors like textile and clothing, surgical and dental instruments, leather products, sports goods, footwear, gems and jewellery and furniture. Similarly, potential sectors like surgical implants, composite products, light engineering products, printing and packing, sports wear, fitness apparel, gloves and musical instruments etc., need special focus and facilities to perform optimally, he added.

He emphasised the need for setting up Marketing Intelligence Cell at Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) for providing assistance to manufacturers and exporters in obtaining information pertaining to international demands for commodities, competitive price index, expanding markets and other essential trends.

The cell would also serve to disseminate updated information to the exporters on export markets and technology to facilitate diversification of exports, Majid added. He proposed that the government should provide interest-free loan on 10 percent of the total exports for the import of new technology and enabling exporters to upgrade their industrial units for removing their production inefficiencies.


Promoting handicrafts can lift millions out of poverty: PEW

ISLAMABAD (INP): The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday called upon the authorities to support the ignored sector of handicrafts which can help lift millions out of poverty. Pakistan can generate handsome amount of foreign exchange by promoting handicraft sector which is mainly concentrated in the province of Sindh; however other provinces cannot be ignored, it said. The government can promote this sector while private sector should invest in the handicrafts industry and turn it into a lucrative and profitable sector, said PEW President Dr Murtaza Mughal. He said that there is a great demand for locally made handicrafts in the international market, therefore, this sector should be promoted which is directly linked with the skilled women. Promotion of this sector will not only serve the cause of poverty reduction and women empowerment but also reduce unemployment while providing foreign exchange to the country, he added.

Dr Murtaza said that handicraft was once a major source of livelihood for millions of people but rising cost of inputs, difficult access to credit and poor marketing network, have brought the industry to the dismal state.

He said that low prices, lack of proper marketing, want of exhibition centres, discouraging behaviour of the bureaucracy, and the rising costs business were some reasons behind the decline.


He said that millions of people are working in this sector but it is not organised while it continues to suffer due to the negligence of the authorities and middlemen who use abusive techniques.


A vibrant handicraft sector will not only improve the standard of living of millions of people but also reduce the pace of migration from rural areas to the cities, he said.


Pakistan Furniture Council to hold trade expo on October 26

LAHORE (APP): Pakistan Furniture Council (PFC) is preparing to hold a four-day Pakistan International Trade Fair from October 26, 2017 at Karachi with participation of all leading furniture brands displaying their world class local handmade furniture products. While talking to APP, PFC Chief Executive Mian Kashif Ashfaq said the exhibition was also set to attract not only manufacturers and suppliers from Pakistan but also from other countries. All leading furniture brands associated with PFC would also be part of the event and showcase an array of their latest furniture and interior solutions, he added. The PFC chief said potential of furniture industry in Pakistan was enormous and that within two to three years, it could even be double, provided the government patronised the industry properly. He was of the view that such exhibitions would provide an opportunity to companies to increase brand awareness as well as strengthen relationships with their existing customers, besides establishing relations with international exhibiting companies attending the fair.

He stressed the need for exploring international markets for potential customers to boost exports of furniture. Kashif also expressed confidence in the forthcoming four-day Pakistan International Trade Fair expo as an effective marketing tool apart from attracting investment since numerous foreign and local investors would be attending the event.

He also congratulated FPCCI (Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry) chief Zubair Tufail, United Business Group patron-in-chief SM Muneer and UBG Chief and veteran trade leader Iftikhar Ali Malik for taking such a wise decision for holding international fair in Pakistan and hoped it would be made an annual features.

Khashif said PFC Secretary Hamid Mehmood had also been appointed as liaison officer with FPCCI for finalising arrangements with regard to display furniture products in the fair.