LAHORE, MAR 04 – SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) on Monday extended invitation to Pakistan Furniture Council (PFC) to participate in one day conference “Role of Chambers in Strengthening Regional Economic Integration” scheduled to be held at Kathmandu, Nepal on March 16.
PFC Chief Executive Mian Kashif Ashfaq disclosed this while chairing a meeting of board of directors, on Monday.
He said social political dialogues among the member states are indispensable to unleash the socio-economic potential of South Asia.
He further said that the government and private sector must come forward joining hands together for working integration of the region and if all tangible steps are taken, only furniture market in the region would reach to colossal figure of $5.4 billion by 2020. Remedial measures may push the regional trade to as high as $170 billion within two years,” he added.
He said increased regional economic connectivity within South Asia, as well as with other parts of Asia, can bolster economic growth, reduce poverty and enhance regional stability and security.
He said the rising disposable incomes, improving consumer lifestyles and a significant increase in the GDPs largely supplement the growth of the market in the South Asian region.
Further, the growth is also supplemented by the ongoing developments in the real estate sector in the region, which largely boost the adoption of luxury furniture by both domestic as well as commercial users.
Mian Kashif said Pakistan is still lagging behind in this sector even compared to its neighboring countries India and China. He further said Pakistan’s share in the world market for furniture is negligible, despite the fact that it has a valuable record of craftsmanship and innovation in this sector.
He further said the leadership of South Asian countries should sit together and devise a formula of restoration of peace so that trade should be flourished instead of terrorism and extremism.
He underscored that South Asia needs to overcome the bitter legacies of the past, in order to create an enabling environment for peace and stability, which is critical to unleash the synergies necessary for economic progress. Unless bilateral disputes are resolved, through peaceful dialogue, sustainable peace and security in the region would remain elusive, he added.
PFC chief directed all the stakeholders of furniture sector to chalk out a comprehensive plan to boost mutual furniture trade among the member states and extend invitations to their counterparts in the conference to visit Pakistan and invest in furniture sector.