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New milestone promises greater growth ahead

Jul 08, 2019 | By CENS

KUALA LUMPUR, July 5: Malaysian International Furniture Fair (MIFF), the industry's largest marketplace in Southeast Asia, has smashed through the billion-dollar sales mark for the first time in its 25-year history.

Exhibitors at MIFF 2019 raked in US$1.01 billion in sales over four days from March 8-11, up 3% increase from the previous high of US$984 million in 2018.

photo provided by MIFFphoto provided by MIFF
The record performance was achieved a year after the trade show was expanded to 100,000 sqm across the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (MITEC) and Putra World Trade (PWTC) with design as its cornerstone.

Show organiser, UBM Malaysia, reported MIFF 2019 attracted 20,478 visitors including 6,112 global buyers from 130 countries and regions, an increase of 4% from last year. Traffic was significantly higher from North America and the Far East while numbers remained stable from Southeast Asia South Asia, Australasia, Europe, Africa and South America.
photo provided by MIFFphoto provided by MIFF
A total of 600 exhibitors from 14 countries – 346 Malaysian and 254 foreign companies --- showcased new products and collections under the theme “Design Connects People”.

In the limelight was the promotion of Muar which had been officially recognised as the Furniture City of Malaysia. MIFF has strong ties with companies from the southern manufacturing hub which was further strengthened by a strategic partnership between MIFF and Muar Furniture Association in 2013.
photo provided by MIFFphoto provided by MIFF
Staking their turf with their own ready-to-market products were young designers from the MIFF-driven Millennials@Design programme and from the Malaysian Timber Industry Board's Tanggam Design Centre and Professional Designers Programme (PDP), a collaboration with Muar featuring the works of designers from Malaysia, Italy and Belgium

“Celebrating our 25th anniversary with a milestone like this is certainly something that we are proud of. It is the best endorsement of MIFF by the markets but what makes us most proud is that we continue to place our customers and their business priorities first even as we are on a strong growth path,” said Ms Karen Goi, General Manager of MIFF.
photo provided by MIFFphoto provided by MIFF
Burnishing its reputation as a global procurement hub in the region, MIFF boasts the biggest export platform for Malaysian wood furniture and office furniture in Southeast Asia.

The next edition of the annual trade show is from 6-9 March 2020 at the same two venues. It has already drawn strong rebookings from exhibitors satisfied by the continuing diversity of attendance and high-quality buyers this year.
photo provided by MIFFphoto provided by MIFF
Albert Hsueh, sales manager of long-time exhibitor, Malaysia's RTA Corporation Sdn Bhd, saw more customers especially from the United States. “This year we are showcasing Malaysian-made mattresses for the first time and targeting U.S. buyers. Due to the tax imposed on China-made mattresses, people in the U.S. are looking for other options. It's really great that we are able to meet so many potential buyers at MIFF. We will definitely be back next year.”

American importer James Holt, who was at the show for the third year, noted the number of exhibitors had grown tremendously along with a wide range of products to choose from. “The designs stay fresh and up to date. So far, we have struck several deals, and we are looking forward to more of them. This is a great hub for us to buy products, especially for importers like us.”

Huge praise came from new exhibitor Andre Solares, Vice President of Sales Europe of Colmol, Portugal. “The exhibition is excellent. Initially our main objective was to find partners in Southeast Asia. But we were pleasantly surprised that we can find partners from the whole world at MIFF! From New Zealand to Sweden and even islands like Fiji and Mauritius are here. It's incredible.”

Emily Sow, Executive Director of Malaysia's Shantawood Sdn Bhd, said MIFF remained a must for the company which produces dining table sets. “We have been exhibiting at MIFF for more than 10 years, MIFF reinforces our position in the furniture industry and brings us customers with buying power. Compared to other fairs, there are more visitors to our booth at MIFF. We obtained many new buyers from various countries here as well.
photo provided by MIFFphoto provided by MIFF
Ikuzo Abeno of Tokyo Furniture Research, is a regular face at MIFF and remains impressed by its progress every year. “First of all, there are always high-qualified exhibitors, and secondly, every service during the show exudes hospitality. Finally, we can't forget the kind and friendly support by the MIFF team. MIFF isn't just an exhibition for purchasing but also a place to exchange information and search new trends.”

Spanish businessman Alejandro Montoya said Malaysian wood products and designs were a big attraction for foreign buyers. “Many of our customers back in Spain like minimalistic wooden products, and I see there are various choices here at MIFF. Malaysian wood is known for its quality and that is what we are here for.”

From Africa, Benitah Nyonjo of Uganda said her company, Nina Interiors, had sourced wood-based home and office furniture from MIFF for 20 years and found new suppliers this round; Tariq Hassan of Libya found MIFF a good centre for business for those in the industry like him because “in Libya our locals still rely on imports, we don't have many choices and our economy is growing.”

Notes to Editors:

About MIFF (www.miff.com.my)

MIFF is Southeast Asia's most global and largest industry trade show of its kind serving 20,000 furniture professionals from 140 countries across the world. Held annually in March, the show offers a comprehensive selection of all kinds of home and commercial furniture including Malaysia's renowned top-quality wood furniture and the most extensive office solutions in the region. Since its inception in 1995, the show is an UFI-approved event by The Global Association for Exhibition Industry. MIFF is organised by UBM Malaysia, a member of UBM Asia, which is a part of Informa PLC, a leading B2B information services group and the largest B2B Events organiser in the world.

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