LAHORE: The Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) on Wednesday said that the local furniture sector attached great importance to the national economy and it can make a substantial contribution if the government properly patronizes it on priority basis.

Talking to a delegation of the Pakistan Furniture Council (PFC) headed by its Chief Executive Mian Kashif Ashfaq, FPCCI Vice President Manzoor-ul-Haq Malik urged the government to establish greater liaison with this sector to fully understand the market conditions and requirements of the industry needs to protect, develop and promote.

He said the government should also provide more visible support to furniture business in terms of simple and easily obtainable grants for exhibiting and travelling to trade shows and promoting Pak export as a success globally. He said currently the textile sector was the country’s largest industry in terms of exports, exporting $14 billion worth of goods annually. The second largest segment is rice which generates $2 billion through exports, but Pakistan’s furniture exports stand at a meager $51 million.

He said if the government extends its support to furniture companies, the volume of export could touch the figure of $5 billion for the next five years. He suggested that a programme for developing and promoting the furniture sector both in rural and urban areas could be feasible, and also stressed upon urgent need for implementing modern techniques which not only enhance productivity, develop skills of labourers and meet requirements of local and global markets.