Furniture exports up by $0.108m

LAHORE (APP): Pakistan furniture exports increased from $ 0.662 million during July 2013 to $ 0.770 million in corresponding month this year showing 16.31pc increase. Pak-China Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCJCCI) President  Shah Faisal Afridi here Monday said that Pakistani furniture industry showed fast growth during the recent year, adding that he accentuated to participate in the five-day Furniture China 2014 exhibition scheduled to be held from 10th of this month at Shanghai New International Expo Centre. He said, such exhibitions can play a pivotal role for Pakistani furniture manufacturers in achieving furniture export target of more than $ one billion annually in international furniture market.

Furniture China is a professional international furniture exhibition with an excellent reputation for more than 16 years, launched in 1993. Furniture China 2013 attracted 85,313 visitors in total, including 64,182 local visitors and 21,131 from overseas which cover 6 continents of 144 countries and regions. There were around 292 overseas companies participating as exhibitors, he maintained.

Shah Faisal narrated the example of Japan that has great scope for

Pakistani Furniture, because they like Pakistani Traditional Hand-Carved furniture designs with classic finishing and similar designs can be replicated in China market, therefore efforts must be made to promote furniture exports by more regular participation in international shows. All this can happen if there is government will and a vision amongst furniture traders, he added.

He asserted that joint ventures with China through trade commissions for

providing machines on lease can bring product quality at par with highest international standards. But for this to happen, the furniture industry in Pakistan must vigorously transform from cottage or small scale industry to innovative industry through training, upgrading supplies and imports.

Faisal Afridi said, quality export furniture is being produced at

Chiniot, Gujrat, Peshawar, Rawalpindi and Karachi and the demand for Pakistani furniture has been rising constantly. The wooden furniture industry in Gujrat is also flourishing and contributing a large amount of foreign exchange earnings to Pakistan. About 70 to 80 percent furniture is made of sheesham.

The leading furniture making areas of Pakistan are Chiniot, Gujrat,

Peshawar, Lahore and Karachi. In terms of exports, Karachi comes first, followed by Lahore and Peshawar. Pakistans major buyers of wooden furniture are the UK, the USA, Sri Lanka and Gulf countries like the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Kuwait. The United States buys mostly bedroom furniture. UK and the Gulf countries import kitchen furniture and office furniture.

 For example, he said, the British retail chain Harrods sells some

Pakistani furniture at its outlets. More than 80 percent of the furniture demand in the country is met by the Chinioti furniture. This industry, combined with the handicraft industry, is employing about 50,000 people.

The PCJCCI President said that furniture with calligraphic engraving had

great demand in local and international markets, which seems to be the dominant one in Pakistan, therefore Pakistani craftsmen should focus on working in this particular area to earn the much-needed foreign exchange. In this regard Afridi appreciated the role of Furniture Pakistan Company and All Pakistan Furniture Exporters Association APFEA in bringing the latest technical know-how in Pakistan to develop the local Furniture Industry for manufacturing quality products competitive with the international market.

Training on ‘Start and Improve Your Business’ Programme concludes

ISLAMABAD (Online): The certificate distribution ceremony of the Start and Improve Your Business programme, jointly started by the ILO and the HEC, was organised at HEC Secretariat, Islamabad. Business Development Service Providers, including representatives from universities and other organisations, which have enterprise development programme as their mandate, attended the two-week Training of Trainers  workshop. Universities provide a perfect setting for students to generate business ideas. Business Incubation Centres, established at different universities, enable their graduates to become job providers instead of job seekers and dependence of government jobs is minimised.

On the occasion, HEC and ILO also signed an agreement entitled "Create enabling business environment for entrepreneurs: SIYB Roll out", which aims to create a pool of 28-30 officials to provide effective business development services by rolling out gender mainstreamed SIYB in Pakistan, and improve the access of women and men to gender mainstreamed business development services and establishment of small/medium sized enterprises. Prof. Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman HEC and Mr. Francesco d'Ovidio, Country Director, ILO Pakistan signed the agreement.

LPG prices lower by Rs 2/ kg: Hadi

KARACHI (APP): The price of imported LPG, has reduced in Pakistan as the Saudi Aramco has set its September-2014 contract price for imported LPG at $ 773 a tonne, with a $ 21 reduction. Central Chairman All Pakistan LPG Distributors Association, Abdul Hadi Khan said that the prices of LPG in Pakistan should be reduced in accordance with the fall of the prices in the international market so as to ensure availability of LPG to the consumers as per their demand, said a statement on Monday. The statement said that the price of imported LPG in Pakistan has reduced to Rs 2100 a tonne, which will result in decrease of Rs 2 per kilogramme. Prices of 11.8 kilogrammes cylinder of LPG will reduce by Rs 25 while the 45.4 kilogrammes cylinder by Rs 96, it added.

  Hadi said that the sale of LPG in the local market will increase around 10 to 15 per cent, therefore, the production of commodity locally should be raised.

Cotton brokers advised to renew

their licences by Sept 15

KARACHI (APP): Karachi Cotton Association on Monday announced to extend the renewal date for cotton brokers’ licenses 2014-15 by Sep 15. The extension in the renewal dates will be subject to payment of renewal fee of Rs 100 and late payment surcharge of Rs 2,000 total amount being Rs 2,100. Cotton Brokers, who have not yet renewed their licences have been advised to renew it by making necessary payment at the earliest but not later than Sept 15, failing which their cases would be referred to the Executive Committee for appropriate action. The concerned authorities said that no further extension in the date of renewal of cotton Brokers’ licenses would be granted.

Brokers having Booths or Seats in Rooms have also been advised to clear their outstanding dues in respect of their booths or seats at the earliest.

Oil prices mixed in Asian trade

SINGAPORE (AFP): Oil prices were mixed in muted Asian trade Monday ahead of a public holiday in the United States and as dealers digest downcast Chinese manufacturing data, analysts said.  US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for October delivery eased 14 cents to $95.82 while Brent crude for October rose five cents to $103.24 in afternoon trade.  Floor trading in the United States is closed Monday for the Labor Day holiday, and electronic transactions will be used to determine the settlement price.  "We are seeing thin trading volumes in Asian trading today ahead of the US Labor Day holiday," Desmond Chua, market analyst at CMC Markets in Singapore, told AFP. 

"Oil prices are expected to trade within a lower range as dealers consolidate their positions with no new leads expected today," he said.

Investors are also scrutinising data released Monday showing Chinese manufacturing growth slowed in August, raising concerns about demand in the world's top energy consumer, Chua said.

The National Bureau of Statistics said the official purchasing managers index came in at 51.1, down from 51.7 in July, and the first decline since slipping to 50.2 in February.

The index tracks manufacturing activity in China's factories and workshops and is a closely watched indicator of the health of the economy. A reading above 50 indicates growth, while anything below points to contraction.

Elsewhere, the Ukrainian crisis is continuing to provide support to oil prices, with little sign of an imminent solution.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday raised the stakes in the standoff by calling for the first time for statehood to be discussed for the eastern regions of Ukraine now controlled by pro-Kremlin rebels.

The West is threatening fresh sanctions against Russia, the world's number-two oil producer, for directly aiding the insurgency.

Putin has repeatedly denied Russia is fuelling the conflict or putting any troops on the ground in the former Soviet state, a key conduit for Moscow's gas exports to Europe.