SOME 25 local furniture and furnishing exporters will fly to Japan this month to participate in the International Furniture Fair Tokyo (IFFT).

Two Cebu based companies, Nature’s Legacy Eximport Inc., and Coast Pacific Manufacturing Corp., will join the Philippine delegation led by the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (Citem), the export promotion arm of the Department of Trade and Industry.

Small and medium sized exporters from Davao, Leyte and Bacolod, among others, will also join the IFFT slated on Nov. 20 to 22 at the Tokyo Big Sight.

The IFFT, which is mounted yearly, generates 18,000 attendees and 430 exhibiting companies.

“Citem is bringing in a delegation to IFFT to take advantage of Japan’s renovation market in preparation for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. A lot of new and existing hotels are renovating, so we’d like to push the Philippine brand there,” said Pete Delantar, one of the directors of the Chamber of Furniture Industries of the Philippines yesterday.

Japan is currently building and opening more hotels to boost its hotel room growth in anticipation of the massive influx of Olympics tourists.

According to Delantar, the founder and owner of Nature’s Legacy, the Philippine-made products have an edge over furniture and furnishings made in China and Vietnam because it has an eco-friendly component and a beautiful story behind each product.

“For some good reason, they like our products.”

Citem Executive Director Clayton Tugonon, in a news report, said Japan needs 9,000 rooms to accommodate guests who will be arriving for the 2020 Summer Olympics.

The healthy relationship between the Philippines and Japan bodes well for the export industry.

Delantar said that given the closeness of both countries, it will be a perfect time to enter the Japanese market and aggressively promote the best of Philippine exports.

During the Manila Fame edition last April, Japanese buyers comprised 22.67 percent of the total number of international visitors, an exhibition showcasing world-class Philippine furniture, home accessories, holiday decor, fashion, gift items, and crafts.

Meanwhile, furniture manufacturers expect to sustain an export growth of at least 10 percent toward the end of 2017 and into next year, while the domestic market grows.