PESHAWAR, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 19th Jan, 2017 ) : South Punjab Forest Company (SPFC) in collaboration with the Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) organized an inception seminar to sensitize the business community regarding the opportunities in the forestry sector. The seminar began with a welcome address by Engr. Muhammad Saeed Sheikh, President, FCCI, who chaired the event and thanked the participants while appreciating the role of SPFC in promoting sustainable forestry investments in Pakistan.
According to Engr. Muhammad Saeed Sheikh, Commercial forestry is vital for furniture and sports industry and the established of SPFC will greatly help to meet these domestic requirements. He however urged the office bearers of SPFC to provide maximum facilities to the investors, so that investments in the forestry sector can be increased. Tahir Rasheed, CEO, SPFC, affirmed that SPFC will completely facilitate the investors in order to boost investments in the forestry sector.
According to him, SPFC will play an important role in reducing the import bill by providing sustainable farmed wood to the wood-based industry, as the dependence on imported wood will reduce, which will also help to save the existing forests of Pakistan. The seminar was also attended by Rana Muhammad Afzal Khan, MNA and Federal Parliamentary Secretary, who appreciated the efforts by the Government of Punjab to promote sustainable forestry investments in the province.
He also urged to expand the scope of SPFC beyond national borders, in order to avail climate finance from Green Climate Fund (GCF). The seminar was followed by a presentation by Tahir Rasheed, CEO, SPFC, on Investment Opportunities in Forestry Sector in South Punjab. He informed the participants about the areas allotted to SPFC, which hold tremendous potential for investments in forestry. Tahir Rasheed further shed light on the fact that global standards demand 25 per cent land to be covered by forests, whereas in Pakistan, forest land is almost 4.
5 per cent of the area, out of which, only 1.9 per cent of forests remain. Tahir further told that global forestry investments worth more than US $ 480 billion, with forestry investments increasing at 20 per cent annually over the past 20 years, thus highlighting that forestry offers minimum risk with high returns. The presentation was followed by Q&A session. Rana Muhammad Sikander-e-Azam Khan, Senior Vice President, FCCI, gave the concluding remarks and hoped that the initiative will bring a green revolution, create green jobs and contribute to the GDP.