Irfan Iqbal Sheikh, president of the Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, asked the public and private sectors to work together to increase Pakistan’s forest cover from 5 to 25 per cent in order to meet the nation’s expanding furniture industry’s needs.
Irfan Iqbal Sheikh said in a conversation with Mian Kashif Ashfaq, CEO of Pakistan Furniture Council (PFC), in Lahore that the local and furniture industries were currently dealing with severe supply shocks that were hurting not only their ability to grow further but also their ability to compete internationally.
He urged the furniture industry to be resilient by innovating, adopting technology, as well as diversifying export markets in order to sustain demand in the global economy, which is anticipated to be more difficult this year in the wake of Covid 19. Irfan Iqbal Sheikh claimed that because there wasn’t a sufficient supply of wood, cheap furniture constructed of elaborately laminated chipboard sheets had invaded the local market. He claimed that because Shishum’s furniture was highly pricey and constructed of wood, it was exclusively intended for specific customers.
Mian Kashif informed the FPCCI Chief that in order to address the needs of the expanding furniture industry, Pakistan needs to actively engage the private sector and government in mass tree planting initiatives in plain, hilly, and other arid areas.