22 May 2024, 12:43
By Furniture News Apr 30, 2015

Wang Mingliang, Furniture China (Shanghai)

The next edition of Furniture China (China International Furniture Expo) will be held from 9-12th September at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre and the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition & Convention Centre. Wang Mingliang, founder of Shanghai UBM Sinoexpo International Exhibition Company and publisher of China Furniture magazine, answers Furniture News’ questions about what to expect from this year’s show ...

What sets Furniture China apart from other shows?

Renowned as one of the most crucial furniture exhibitions in the world, Furniture China continuously strives to be a high-quality lifestyle exhibition – to lead the trends in home fashion, facilitate the produce of new furniture goods, and to enhance competitiveness. Through 20 years of experience, the qualified exhibitors, new products, original design and upgraded services have made Furniture China the leading international furniture exhibition for both import and export markets.

As an international design-oriented trade exhibition focusing on the future, Furniture China tries to lead the way in sustainable development in the industry, and persists in elevating its quality to present the best of the furniture industry on a global scale.

Since 2012, design has been absolutely remarkable at Furniture China along with its scale expansion. A great and professional platform is provided for visitors to discover pieces created by talented designers, especially promoting the evolution from Made in China to Created by China.

Now, the Brand Design Hall (Hall W4), Design Hall (Hall W5) and DoD – Design of Designers (in the 3# entrance hall of SNIEC) are definitely the key highlights during the exhibition. Meanwhile, to encourage original designs, there are two high-level design awards onsite – the Gold Idea Furniture Design Awards and the China Furniture Product Innovation Awards. In 2014, these two awards brought together 400 works from 137 companies.

What developments can visitors look out for this year?

Furniture China will be again a vital exhibition in terms of size, number of exhibitors, representation by exhibiting countries and the quality and quantity of visitors.

The star-studded exhibitor line-up includes the best-known names in the business. They include Ligne Roset, Parisot, Alsapan, Sifas, Gautier, CountryCorner, Meubar, Evan, VincentSheppard, Verdon, Interstil, Actona, Rowico and Tvilum. This year, no less than 220 overseas exhibitors will take part, including country pavilions from France, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Korea. New country pavilions from Turkey and Australia have also been confirmed.

What is the number of UK visitors, and what attracts them?

Last year Furniture China had 774 visitors from the UK, which made up almost 14% of the total visits from European countries. The attraction of Furniture China to UK visitors is mainly the variety of products on display, especially contemporary furniture, office furniture and accessories.

From 2000, Furniture China has become a show for export. Exhibitors are always prepared to offer the UK market the best value and quality. Furniture China is no doubt the best sourcing event for UK buyers.

What services is UBM offering to visitors?

Overseas visitors and exhibitors of Furniture China 2015 can apply for a Port Visa, in which the application materials and procedures are simplified. Moreover, the processing time of Port Visa is much shorter than that of the regular Business Visa. The Port Visa is regarded as a much more convenient way into China.

The organiser will collect the applications and check the information before submitting it to the Exit-Entry Administration of the Shanghai Public Security Bureau for approval. Usually, the result will be known within five working days. Once the application is approved, the Exit-Entry Administration of Shanghai Public Security Bureau will issue the Port Visa Notification and inform the organiser to forward it to the applicant via email or fax.

This policy is not open to all domestic corporations. Only those who have registered at the Exit-Entry Administration of Shanghai Public Security Bureau and have been authorised have the right to submit an application for a Foreign Nationals Port Visa.

To take our customer service to a higher level and to make it more convenient for overseas buyers to attend our exhibition, we have applied to the Exit-Entry Administration of Shanghai Public Security Bureau for the permission and have already received the official approval to be qualified for this policy.

There will be more shuttle buses arranged by the organisers and hotels this year. What’s more, SNIEC venue management will now also offer WiFi. Additionally, we would like to offer special hotel accommodation for 10 UK buyers who have been longtime visitors of Furniture China. To enquire, please contact Yolanda Xu at [email protected].

How is China’s furniture industry developing?

China’s total GDP in 2014 increased by 7.4% at RMB 63.64t – or just over $10t – which is the second largest economy after USA of $17t. With retail sales of RMB 26.24t and total import and export values of RMB 26.43t, China is gradually transforming into a world market. The number of outbound tourist departures from the mainland exceeded 100m in a calendar year for the first time in 2014. Chinese tourists’ spending abroad in 2014 reached a record of $164.8b, an increase of 28% compared with 2013.

China’s furniture industry has changed over from rapid expansion to the slow growth. Its total furniture export of 2014 is $53.42b, rising just 0.61% over levels of a year ago.

According to China National Furniture Association (CNFA), the output value of the furniture industry has reached RMB 1.2t. The recorded output of production of 4933 large-scale manufacturers reached RMB 718.74b in 2014, with the annual growth rate dropping from 32.43% in 2010 to 10.86% in 2014. Furniture imports showed a steady growth. A total of $2.81b furniture imports was achieved in 2014, indicating a rise of 9.25%.

Figures from China’s Ministry of Commerce marked that online shopping saw 20% larger growth than in-store shopping. By the end of 2013, total sales of the Chinese e-commerce market reached RMB 10.2t, an increase of 29.9%, among which B2B accounted for 80.4%.

Data also indicates that the online retail market reached RMB 1.88t in 2013, up by 42.8% compared with the previous year. The online retail market accounted for 8.04% of the total amount of consumer retail sales (6.3% in 2012). The number of individual online store and online shoppers are 11.22m and 312m respectively.

Why will the offering in Shanghai appeal to new visitors this year?

Shanghai will become the focus of the world furniture industry in September. With the new venue of National Exhibition and Conference Center in operation and the Guangzhou Furniture Show (CIFF) moving to Shanghai, furniture markets from all over the world will focus on Shanghai.

This year, Furniture China will host around 3000 exhibitors compared to last year’s 2650. There will also be an extra 100,000m² for 700 exhibitors at outdoor tenets of SNIEC and World Expo Venue. Other events including the Asia Furniture Summit and Designer’s Night will also take place during the exhibition.

This article was published in the April issue of Furniture News magazine.

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