High demand for Malaysian-made furniture overseas

KUALA LUMPUR - The organiser of this year's Malaysian International Furniture Fair (MIFF), the country's biggest furniture trade show, expects the growing demand for Malaysian-made products overseas will boost sales by 5 per cent from the US$854mil (RM2.8bil) achieved in 2013.

Export sales from last year's exhibition, which was held over five days, represented some 37 per cent of exports from the entire Malaysian furniture industry in 2013, which came in at RM7.4bil.

"We hope to achieve better sales than last year. I will say that we are trying to achieve 5 per cent more than last year," said MIFF chairman Datuk Tan Chin Huat after the opening MIFF 2014.

Malaysia is the eighth leading exporter of furniture in the world, behind Vietnam which generated about US$4.5bil worth of sales last year.

"We hope by 2020 we are able to catch up. Malaysian furniture has been well accepted worldwide because of the international high standards, so Malaysian companies will be able to do well.

"Right now, the requirement and consumption for furniture internationally is still on the uptrend because governments of most countries are trying to promote better living.

"And furniture is one of the essential items that could reflect a good living style," said Tan.

MIFF 2014 is being held at the Putra World Trade Centre and Matrade Exhibition & Convention Centre here until Saturday.

It features over 500 furniture manufacturers from 13 countries and regions including Malaysia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, the UK, the United States, Vietnam and Iran.