Furniture firms see 10% growth in 2014

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Saturday, January 4, 2014

LOCAL furniture makers project a 10-percent growth this year on the back of robust local and export markets.

Myrna Bituin, Philexport trustee for the furniture sector, said exporters and even non-exporters can serve the huge domestic market.

"The local market buys billions of pesos (worth) of furniture overseas... Majority of companies that do researchers, are open to the market, invest in design and in their people, they have always survived," she said.

Bituin said there are some local companies that focus on the country, citing as an example a small group of manufacturers in Aklan which just cater to hotels and resorts in the area.

"You save on your freight cost and you are here... serving your country. For those who are mechanized, for those who know about design, they can serve the local market," she said.

Bituin also stressed that the project of the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (Citem) about branding also plays an important role in boosting the sector.

"Companies have to work hard to brand their firms and their products," she said.

Bituin said the export market, meanwhile, is still growing despite the slowdown in demand from the United States.

She noted the Middle East is one of the growing markets for the local wood sector; while Philippine exports to Japan is still huge due mainly to the high demand for pre-fabricated housing components.

"Europe is (also) a good market...Europe is very traditional, they can sell your product for 10 to 15 years. So you become good in what you are doing because it is the same product that you have been doing for the past 10 years," she added.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 05, 2014.


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