New liberal visa regime to attract foreign investors, tourists : PFC


ISLAMABAD, March 14 (APP):Pakistan Furniture Council (PFC) Thursday hailing Prime Minister Imran Khan’s new visa regime expressed the hope that this new policy would attract foreign investors, and tourists besides giving impetus to economic growth of the country on long term basis.
It said the hotel industry would also flourish with tourism and this would help furniture industry to avail from this opportunity, PFC Chief Executive Mian Kashif Ashfaq in a statement said.
He said despite huge potential, tourism sector contributes only three percent of the GDP which is approx $8 billion and it is expected that it would grow to $10 billion till 2025.
He compared it with Malaysia that has only beach tourism and its tourism industry comprises of $20 billion while Turkey has beach and historical sites tourism while its tourism sector stood at around $40 billion.
“Pakistan has 700-kilometre coastal belt, ancient civilization such as Harappa and Mohin-Jo-Daro, ancient civilized cities, including Lahore, Multan and Peshawar,” he added.
He said government initiative of opening Kartarpur Boarder would surely draw positive impacts. These places can be developed to promote historical, religious and beach tourism, respectively. He said that 186 countries will benefit from new visa regime.
Mian Kashif further said, “Pakistan is destination of world’s best beautiful scenic mountains located in Gilgit-Baltistan, Swat and Chitral, where adventurous tourism will be promoted,” he said, adding that the ‘Visit Pakistan’ campaign would promote soft image of Pakistan internationally and would help Pakistan in attracting tourists from across the globe.
He said this visa policy would also help furniture sector to boost its export and may attract foreign investors and buyers especially from Asia where the rising disposable incomes, improving consumer lifestyles and a significant increase in the gross domestic products largely supplement the growth of the market in Asian region.
He said multiple business visa to businessmen of 96 countries within 24 hours is another good omen for pak economy with the flow of frequent visits of foreign investors.
He said there is a large scope for Pakistani furniture makers to capture the international market and can cope with its arch-rival India in export of furniture items if the government declare furniture and interior decoration the industry status besides announcing a package of incentives to local manufacturers so that they could enhance the volume of their export items to gain their significant share in international market.
The PFC chief said PFC has already invited furniture manufacturers to support and find solutions to pressing issues that hinder sustainability and growth.
He said the PFC is taking all required steps to promote of traditional furniture as well as adding the efficiency of modern methods by introducing training centers and arranging exhibitions.
He said there is a dire need of shifting from wooden furniture to metal and other relevant material.