Apr 25, Colombo: A high level delegation of Pakistan Furniture Council (PFC) is scheduled to visit Sri Lanka this week to explore new avenues for cooperation in various fields.
According to a press statement Associated Press of Pakistan reported that the delegation would explore possibilities for cooperation in infrastructure development, policy and institution development, superior technological capabilities, modernizing workforce in knowledge, skills and attitudes, and marketing and investment opportunities in furniture sector.
PFC Chief Executive Mian Kashif Ashfaq informed the board of directors of the council Wednesday about the possible potential of furniture trade with Sri Lanka, the statement added.
He said this was an opportunity to expand Pakistani handmade world class furniture export and help boost economy besides generating new jobs in Pakistan.
He said Pakistan can easily double exports to Sri Lanka in a year's time by effectively using the duty concessions under the Free Trade Agreement (FTA), adding that if steps were taken timely in right direction, Pakistan's exports to Sri Lanka could touch $500 million from the current $267 million within a year.
He said the trade balance was heavily in favor of Pakistan. "Its exports to Sri Lanka amounted to $267 million while Sri Lankan exports to Pakistan were worth just $58 million," he added.
Sri Lanka mainly exports textile products like men's T-shirts while it imports bed wear, trousers, silk and synthetic textile and other ready-made garments.
"Pakistan's exports are slowly growing and it can further increase its share," Mian Kashif said.
Mian Kashif said furniture trade with Sri Lanka was at its lowest level and there was a dire need to explore furniture markets in this part of the region.