LAHORE: Declaring full support for the handmade carpet sector, Federal Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastgir approved Rs7.5 million for the 33rd International Pakistan Hand-knotted Carpet Exhibition, to be held from October 6-9 in Lahore.
During a meeting with the delegation of the Pakistan Carpet Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PCMEA), Dastgir said the government was working with the carpet industry to make the business environment more export-friendly. “Due to the absence of incentives, political instability and energy shortage, exports of Pakistan-made carpets have declined from $300 million to $120 million in the last five to six years.”
He said the government was determined to facilitate the hand-knotted carpet industry, resolving issues such as infrastructural shortcomings to skill and product development and research to enhance trade volume for economic stability and growth.
Also present on the occasion, Exhibition Committee Chairman Major (r) Akhtar Nazir Khan Cooki appreciated the support and approval of the package.
He said the PCMEA would focus on ensuring maximum participation of locals, interior designers, architects and general public in the upcoming exhibition, aimed at creating awareness about carpets as pieces of art created by local artisans.
Exhibition chief organiser Qamar Zia added that delegates from across the world have been invited and it is expected that over 150 foreign companies will visit the show.
“Trade fairs represent a significant opportunity for exporters to enhance their brand and product visibility and to promote new and existing products,” he said, adding that the fair would not only facilitate entrepreneurs and business owners but also highlight the soft image of Pakistan.