Issue of January 6, 2019

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Furniture makers eye local, high-end niche markets abroad
by Press release

Local furniture manufacturers aim to penetrate high-end niche markets overseas to boost export revenues, while tapping the strong domestic market.

"We will be looking into the developments of Russia and Qatar. Very recently, we have a mission to Qatar. But of course, Dubai will always be a market for villas and we are having some projects in Saudi (Arabia)," said Myrna Bituin, Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. (Philexport) trustee for the furniture sector.

She hoped that exporters will “band together” to supply, particularly indoor and outdoor furniture, to these high-end markets abroad.

On home decors, Bituin said the Foreign Buyers Association of the Philippines is actively working with the local companies which can possibly supply the United States market.

In the industry roadmap, furniture manufacturers expect the U.S. market will continue to grow in the next five years.

“That's why our strategy is to niche,” she said. “We are (also) hopeful on Russia. It's very surprising, I was (also) shipping to Latvia.”

As they tap into high-end export markets, Bituin said some exporters are actively supplying a growing number of hotels in the country.

“Ten or 12 years ago, we, as an industry, joined in marketing to the local hotels and developments in the Philippines. We are quite successful in condominium (projects). And today, a lot of hotels are refurbishing. We are going to look into this,” she added.

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