PFC to encourage women furniture designers: Kashif

F.P. Report

LAHORE: Pakistan Furniture Council (PFC) Chief Executive Mian Kashif Ashfaq Wednesday said that PFC will fully encourage women furniture designers and producers to initiate and promote their own furniture business in local and international markets.

Talking to a delegation of women furniture designers and producers headed by Ms Sana Amir CEO Vicky Furniture at PFC Headquarter, Mian Kashif Ashfaq said it is a healthy sign that women have started working in furniture sector in Pakistan and he is much optimistic that women will play their innovative and creative skill to boost furniture products in Pakistan as well as in foreign countries.

He further said PFC would impart training to women wood workers free of cost for developing innovation of modern trends in furniture industry to excel in global markets and attract new investors and buyers worldwide. He said that special training courses will be individually tailored for women and cover a diverse range of needs with the common objective of achieving safe and best use of wood working machinery. Initially, 100 female woodworkers will be selected from across the country and trained in the short duration training programme, in different batches.

Mian Kashif pointed out that training will also covers most types of machine from small classical models and available both for beginners and more experienced operators as well as refresher training when required.He said besides imparting technical training to women woodworkers, the adopted training courses would highlight the importance of identifying and managing risk. “Risk management work is not simply a rearguard action, it is about being alert to opportunity and PFC is committed to assist woodworkers with the collaboration with TEVTA to understand the future of woodworking in Pakistan.

Appreciating the role of women in furniture industry, Mian Kashif said no country has achieved prosperity without harnessing the potential of women. Unfortunately, in Pakistan, women are disproportionately affected by many issues. There is a need to provide better technical education to women to cope with the challenges.

He said, “Women’s contribution does not get highlighted in statistics and there is a need to highlight their efforts for the betterment of the society. Women contribute 400 billion rupees a year but that is not highlighted appropriately and still the nexus between phenomenal work and women empowerment is not examined as yet.

PFC Chief said to increase the country’s furniture exports, the manufacturers need to be offered a tax and credit package of incentives for acquiring new technologies and to grow big enough to sustain global competition from their rivals in the international market. He said the expensive imported raw materials and energy costs were one of the major hurdles for furniture manufacturers to compete with much cheaper imports from China and India.

Ms Sana Amir who also holds master degree from Institute of Communication Studies, Punjab University thanked PFC chief for patronizing the women designers and producers and assured that women will contribute towards excellence in furniture industry which will attract foreign investors as well.