Over the past five years the furniture market in Asia has outpaced European countries as the property market in Asia continues to boom.
“Since the European economic crisis the furniture industry has focused its eyes on Asia,” chief executive officer of the Malaysian based furniture manufacturer HIN LIM, Thomas Lim said.
The leading global furniture exporter is China with a market share of 31.3 percent, according to Malaysian Timber Industry Board.
At the Malaysia International Furniture Fair (MIFF) in Kuala Lumpur in early March the interest was on full display as more than 500 exhibitors showcased their products.
Around 20,000 visitors including 7000 overseas buyers made their way through the five-day show from March 5 to 9.
“The show has grown 25pc bigger this year. There was a strong demand after our record sales performance of US$830 million last year. This is good for buyers, they will have more designs and exciting choices,” said MIFF chairman Dato’ Dr Tan Chin Huat.
“Only buyers and visitors from Myanmar attended this year. I would like Myanmar business people to participant as exhibitors next year,” he added.
Malaysia’s large timber sector has benefited as well.
“The furniture sector is the most dynamic area in the timber-based sector for Malaysia and it is the major export earnings also. Malaysia furniture was exported to 199 countries worldwide and valued at RM8 billion, an increase of 4.3pc compared to 2011,” said Malaysian Minister of Plantation Industry and Commodities, YB Tan Sri Bernard Giluk Dompok.
While the market continues to expand, Mr Klaus J Kummer, president and chief executive officer of furniture Design Company KDT International Company said there must be a new focus put on quality design for the trend to continue in the future.
“Designers are totally interested in styling but not real design,” he warned.