The first edition of UBM Asia's Indonesia International Furniture Expo (IFEX) took place between 11-14 March, completely filling the available space at Indonesia's largest exhibition venue, the Jakarta International Exhibition Center (JIExpo), with exactly 400 exhibiting companies.
According to UBM, the three-day exhibition attracted 6113 trade visitors, of which 2021 were overseas buyers sourcing Indonesian furniture for sale in Europe, China, the US and Australasia.
Emphasising the importance of furniture exports to the nation's economy, the opening ceremony was attended by both the Minister of Trade of the Republic of Indonesia, Muhammad Luti, and the Minister of Industry, Mohamad S Hidayat. Speaking at the opening ceremony, Mr Soenoto, chairman of the Indonesian Furniture & Handicraft Association (AMKRI), predicted that Indonesia would achieve furniture exports of US$5b within the next five years.
The exhibits covered a wide range of products, from contemporary furniture and mass-market offerings to traditional, hand-crafted furniture. The materials used reflected Indonesia's abundant supply of sustainably-sourced woods, as well as rattan and textiles. The exhibition also included a rich selection of home furnishings, decorations and handicraft items.
The international buyers who attended IFEX came from a total of 108 countries. In descending order, the top 10 countries were: Australia, China, the US, Malaysia, Singapore, India, the Netherlands, France, Germany and the UK. Several official buyer delegations visited the exhibition, including groups from Belgium and Turkey.
A full programme of meetings, seminars and awards were held in conjunction with the exhibition. This included the annual general meeting of the International Association of Furnishing Publications (IAFP, of which Furniture News is the UK member), seminars on the furniture markets of Europe and the USA, and the IFEX Indonesia Designers Awards Ceremony.
Christopher Eve, senior vice president of UBM Asia, comments: "UBM Asia is excited about the success of the first edition of IFEX. Indonesia's export furniture industry has huge potential for growth backed by its vast resources of sustainably-sourced raw materials and extensive manpower resources. We expect IFEX to increasingly become one of the leading furniture exhibitions in the region as more venue capacity becomes available for expansion of the exhibition.
"The addition of IFEX to our portfolio of world-leading furniture exhibitions is significant. By co-ordinating the dates of IFEX with those of our Malaysia International Furniture Fair (MIFF), we can offer international furniture buyers with convenient one-trip, two-stop access to two of Asia's leading sources of furniture –Malaysia and Indonesia."
The second edition of IFEX will be held from 12-15th March 2015 at the Jakarta International Exhibition Center. For a full report from the fair, read the May issue of Furniture News magazine.