A meeting of furniture stakeholders on Monday was held to find concrete solutions to the problems being confronted by the local furniture industry in Pakistan. A large number of furniture makers and stakeholders, from across the country, participated in the meeting and presented their proposals to the PFC for a joint line of action.
Ashfaq said Pakistan’s furniture industry has the potential to be a substantial one at multiple levels as it can contribute significantly to the GDP and employ numerous people. “First of all, we should extend our forest cover from 5% to 25% of total area so that we can get wood especially rosewood,” said Ashfaq. “Secondly, we face acute shortage of trained woodworkers and when a local furnitures brand wins large orders from global retailers, he fails to fulfill the demand because of non-availability of skilled workers.”
He demanded the government to provide technical training to workers. He said it.
About 67% of wood used in Pakistan’s products is produced domestically.
Ashfaq said Pakistani handmade furnitures exports have grown steadily in recent years, but there is potential to increase foreign shipments.
He said these exports represent a very small portion of the total furnitures business of the country.
However, given the high demand for timber, local furnitures companies are faced with a significant shortage of material. He said only about 7% Pakistani furnitures makers have managed to win large orders from global retailers.
Local companies believe that the government should throw its weight behind a plan to develop a sustainable forestry system that can be expanded as demand for wood grows.