FAISALABAD – The South Punjab Forest Company (SPFC), in collaboration with the Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI), organized a seminar on Thursday to introduce the business community to the opportunities in the forestry sector.

FCCI President Engr Muhammad Saeed Sheikh chaired the event and appreciated the role of SPFC in promoting sustainable forestry investments in Pakistan.

He said, that the commercial forestry is vital for the furniture and sports industries. The FCCI president, however, urged the office bearers of SPFC to provide maximum facilities to the investors, so that investments in the forestry sector can be increased.

SPFC Chief Executive Officer Tahir Rasheed affirmed that the company will completely facilitate the investors in order to boost investments in the forestry sector. “SPFC will play an important role in reducing the import bill by providing sustainably farmed wood to the wood-based industry, on imported as the don imported wood will reduce, which will also help to save the existing forests of Pakistan,” he added.

Furthermore, he informed the participants about the areas allotted to SPFC, which hold tremendous potential for investments in forestry. Tahir Rasheed also 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.

“Global forestry investments are worth more than US $ 480 billion, with forestry investments increasing at 20 percent annually over the past 20 years, thus highlighting that forestry offers minimum risk with high returns,” he told the participants of the seminar.

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).

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.