China, Pakistan can further explore avenues of mutual investment in furniture sector: Luo Qiang

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LAHORE, Nov 27 (APP): Mr Luo Qiang, leader of the high ranking visiting Chinese business delegation Sunday said that there was a
vast scope for further enhancement of bilateral trade between China
and Pakistan in furniture sector and private sector of two countries
can establish joint ventures in the neglected areas for investment.
The leader of the delegation during visit to 6th Interiors Pakistan exhibition here at expo centre praised the quality of Pakistani furniture with calligraphic engravings and admitted the fact that the furniture items produced in the country have great demand in international markets. He offered huge trade opportunities to Pakistani business community in furniture sector and invited Pak counterparts to visit China to tap all untapped areas of promoting trade and exports.
Talking to media, Luo Qiang said the purpose of their visit to Pakistan was to share experiences and exchange views with local business community and explore new opportunities of matchmakings with Pakistani counterparts. He said many Chinese investors were expected to set up industrial units in Pakistan under CPEC and they should give preference to local people in jobs that would help in reducing unemployment and poverty from the country.
He further said that both the countries share a border and have a collective population of more than 1.5 billion, but the trade activity between the two countries still needs a boost. Talking about Pakistani furniture, he expressed that China may have a better market for high quality furniture goods produced in Pakistan. He said that China was the largest trading partner of Pakistan and bilateral trade had surpassed $16 billion in 2015, which was encouraging.
He vociferously acclaimed Pakistani furniture designers and craftsmen and suggested that these experts should play their part in enhancing furniture exports. “The country has excellent craftsmen and designers, who can virtually give life to a piece of wood,” he said,
adding that Pakistani craftsmen should work in this particular area
to earn much needed foreign exchange,” he added.
He termed visit to ‘Interiors Pakistan’ mega exhibition a truly memorable experience and aimed at exploring new opportunities for
enhancing volume of mutual trade in furniture sector.
Pakistan Furniture Council (PFC) Chief Executive Mian Kashif Ashfaq,
briefing about the potential of the furniture industry, said that
Pakistan exports furniture products of worth $8 million to $12 million annually, but these figures do not mirror the actual potential of the industry and its capacity to produce high quality furniture items. In
this regard, he suggested local exporters to actively take part in international shows and furniture exhibitions to ostentatiously present Pakistan’s ability to produce jaw dropping furniture items.
He further said both countries have still great potential to improve bilateral trade and enhanced connectivity between their private sectors would help realizing these goals.
He said that Pakistan was providing easy access to Chinese companies
in its market and China should reciprocate similar facility to Pakistani business community besides this, China should also bring technology and set up industrial units in Pakistan.
Answering a question, Mian Kashif said despite the massive influx
of inexpensive Chinese furniture in the markets, Pakistani handmade furniture is still admired among masses for its customary designs, durability and quality.
At the end, the head of the delegation acknowledged the efforts of
PFC for enhancing trade ties between Pakistani and Chinese business community and said that this visit in PFC exhibition will prove to be valuable in filling the gaps of each otherÆs market. He said that we
are optimistic in entering into joint ventures in furniture sector and would certainly proceed with the relevant authorities.
Pakistan Furniture Council organized 3 days “Interiors Pakistan” exhibition at expo centre here to promote local furniture industry
besides giving opportunity to medium and small furniture producers
to display their products in exhibition to experience new trend in furniture industry. More than 100 leading furniture manufacturing
companies and interior designers exhibited their products.
Later the members of the delegation visited all the stalls and
minutely took keen interest in the designs of the furniture products
and exchanged their expertise with pak counterparts.