SINGAPORE: The global furniture trade is seeing a shift in market gravity, says Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Trade and Industry and Ministry of National Development, Lee Yi Shyan.
He said fairly good growth is expected to be seen in the Asia Pacific, South America, Middle East and Central Eastern Europe, compensating for the otherwise weak demand from Europe and the US.
“Overall, we expect a healthy five per cent growth for the industry worldwide,” he said.
The outlook was based on World Furniture Outlook 2012/2013 by Centre for Industrial Studies (CSIL), Italy.
Lee was speaking at the official opening of the International Furniture Fair Singapore (IFFS)/Asean Furniture Show (AFS), Décor Show and Hospitality Show 2013 at Singapore Expo here.
The event, which runs until Tuesday, is organised by the International Furniture Fair Singapore Pte Ltd (IFFS Pte Ltd), which is partly owned by the Singapore Furniture Industries Council (SFIC) and MP International Pte Ltd.
The trilogy of shows — IFFS/AFS, The Décor Show and The Hospitality Show — features a comprehensive range of furniture by a diverse portfolio of quality exhibitors, and attracts a healthy and well-represented attendance of trade buyers and visitors.
In welcoming the international visitors to the IFFS and AFS, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary, Lee said the partnership between the two shows has become a premier platform to present the best of the region’s furniture collection to the world.
Touching on new market exploration and internationalisation, Lee noted that furniture companies in Singapore have always been regional players.
He said many have established presence in regional markets such as China, Indonesia and Malaysia.
Lee said some have also ventured into untapped territories like Sri Lanka, India and even Mongolia.
“Singapore furniture players must continue to seek new markets for growth.
Besides Asia, there are other bright sparks in the world,” he said. — Bernama