AGRO-BIZ:  RP  FURNITURE  PRODUCTS  TO  ENJOY  EDGE  IN  NORTH  AMERICA

MANILA, January 27, 2005 (STAR) Philippine furniture products will have an edge in the North American market this year.

This projection came from the Foreign Buyers Association of the Philippines (FOBAP), citing market trends favoring the country’s furniture designs.

"Furniture designs incorporating indigenous Philippine materials will have an edge," said FOBAP president Eliseo C. Miranda, referring to the US market. "Outdoor furniture is expected to generate significant demands, not just for summer in particular but year round."

Miranda also cited other market factors that could favor the country’s wide variety of furniture products.

"Minimalist is the byword for some of our clients this year – less complicated designs and focused more on functionality. Yet, others say from classics to contemporary to an array of new designs are in the pipeline," Miranda said.

Worldwide, however, Miranda projected exports to grow to a less significant level.

"Best estimate will be in the range of five-10 percent. This is particularly in the furniture, table tops, decorative and home accessories categories," Miranda said.

The foreign markets being supplied by the country’s furniture industry include Italy, Spain, The Netherlands, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, France, Australia, United Kingdom, Japan, Thailand, and the United States, among others.

The products come from some 2,500 exporting establishments out of some 15,000 furniturers generating a total of 481,500 regular jobs and 300,000 subcontractors.

The best of their furniture products will go on exhibit at the Philippine International Furniture Show (PIFS), which will be staged at the World Trade Center Metro Manila and the Philippine Trade Training Center from Feb. 28 to March 3, 2005.

PIFS 2005 is expected to be swamped by foreign and local buyers as a result of the extensive promotional campaign being undertaken by the Chamber of Furniture Industries of the Philippines (CFIP), the organizer of this prestigious annual international event.

The CFIP’s promo campaign includes foreign and local ad placements, trade missions, and massive email and postcard distribution covering the vast markets of the Middle East, Spain and Spanish-speaking Europe, Germany, Western and Eastern Europe, Canada, and the Americas.

Assisting the CFIP on market information and other related matters is FOBAP, which provides feedbacks from foreign buyers on demand trend, pricing, competition, and other inputs, whenever requested.

Incorporated in 1997 to protect foreign buyers’interest and promote Philippine exports, FOBAP serves as a key organization in establishing linkages between the local enterprises and the major market players worldwide.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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