The newly elected President of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry Irfan Iqbal Sheikh Tuesday urged the government and private sector to join hands for raising forest cover from 5 to 25 percent to meet the ever-growing needs of the furniture industry in the country. Talking to Mian Kashif Ashfaq, CEO of Pakistan Furniture Council (PFC) today Irfan Iqbal Sheikh said that currently, furniture and local industries were experiencing serious supply shocks, which were not only impeding their further growth, but also adversely affecting their international competitiveness. As the global economy is expected to be more challenging this year in wake of Covid-19, he urged the furniture industry to remain resilient by innovating, adopting technology as well as diversifying export markets in order to sustain demand, in the long run, he said. “We have to overcome challenges to strengthen our market share; we must continue to produce innovative and market-oriented products to meet challenging times,” he added. Irfan Iqbal Sheikh said that in the absence of enough supplies of wood, cheaper furniture made of fancy and laminated sheets of chipboard has flooded the local market. He said that the wooden furniture, like that of shishum wood, is quite expensive that is why shishum’s furniture is made for the selected buyers only.