LAHORE: Pakistan Carpet Manufacturers and Exporters Association has succeeded in luring foreign buyers back to Pakistan, Commerce Minster Makhdoom Amin Fahim said on Tuesday.

“It is matter of pride that the buyers in Europe and USA are again seeking ‘Made in Pakistan’ tag on the hand-knotted carpets,” Fahim said speaking at the Pakistan Hand Knotted Carpets Exhibition 2011.

Pakistan Carpet Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PCMEA) and Trading Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) had jointly organised the expo.

He said hand knotted carpets play a significant role in rural poverty eradication and women employment.

Regarding his recent visit to India Fahim told the media that the commerce ministers of Pakistan and India have vowed to increase the bilateral legal trade to $6 billion from present level of around $2 billion.

“The issue of giving trade corridor to India for Afghanistan and Central Asian States would be discussed in the next secretary commerce level talks scheduled in November,” Fahim said.

The visit of trade delegation to India was fruitful and helped remove many bottlenecks in two-way trade, he said.

PCMEA chairman Kahlid Saeed said that 85 foreign buyers arrived at the exhibition from across the world.

He said hand-knotted carpet manufacturing was cottage industry in Pakistan and employed more then 1.5 million people.

Global recession and decline in buying power of consumers in Western markets have hurt the carpet exports and the incomes of the weavers, Saed said. He demanded special mark-up for the carpet industry.

Akther Nazeer Cooki, chief organiser of the Pakistan Hand Knotted Carpets Exhibition 2011 urged the exporters, importers and government to share their responsibilities for better marketing of Pakistani hand-knotted carpets.

New Source: The News International