Strong turnout expected at MIFF 2011

A strong exhibitor and buyer turnout is expected at this year’s Malaysian International Furniture Fair, thanks to the improving global demand for furniture products.

A strong return of large international and small furniture exhibitors to the event will also be evident, says MIFF Sdn Bhd, organiser of the annual furniture fair.

Five hundred exibitors are taking up space at the fair, which kicked off on Tuesday at two venues — KL Convention Centre and the Putra World Trade Centre.

Public-listed, Euro Holdings Bhd is a making a comeback while BJ Cabinet Enterprise Sdn Bhd, Oasis Furniture Industries Sdn Bhd, Hin Lim Furniture Manufacturer Sdn Bhd and the Taiwan Furniture Manufacturers’ Association (TEMA) have all increased their stand sizes.

Ruca Chien, Chairman of TFMA said some 30 exhibitors from Taiwan would grace MIFF compared with 20 exhibitors previously, with 80 per cent of them being return exhibitors.

“TFMA has been here since the first MIFF which has grown over the years with buyers coming from all over the world,” he told Bernama in an interview.

Chien said MIFF was a great platform for Taiwanese manufacturers to promote their middle-class furniture that was much sought, as it was cheap.

“What attracts buyers to MIFF is the middle-class furniture designs offered here. That’s the reason why we choose MIFF instead of others exhibitions in the region,” he added.

Melvin Chay, Business Development Manager at Euro Chairs Manufacturers (M) Sdn Bhd said with the economy improving globally, the company expected to rake in bullish sales this year, as demand was beginning to pick up after the recession.

“We have been participating (in MIFF) for many years. It gave us the best results, the best success rate in securing new customers. That’s why we came back this year,” he added.

Focusing on green-initiatives, he said Euro Chairs would showcase mobile office storage that would help users save space.

Oasis Furniture Industries Sdn Bhd Managing Director Ralph Ong said MIFF was the best platform for industry players to showcase their latest products, as it would attract some 7,000-trade buyers globally.

“We export all over the world and have invited our clients to visit us here, where we will showcase our latest office chairs and sofas.

“With the response being good in the previous year, we are confident of raking sales of US$1.2 million during the five-day fair,” he added.

Thomas Lim, Chief Executive Officer of Hin Lim Furniture Manufacturer Sdn Bhd, which would showcase its latest range of dining sets and matching sofas, said, “We exhibit our products all over the world and MIFF is one of them.

“We expect return buyers and new buyers to visit us at MIFF”.

Meanwhile, Marketing Director for BJ Cabinet Enterprise Sdn Bhd Steven Wong said the company received overwhelming response for its home living products.

“We have doubled our size this year as we expect more buyers to visit us at the fair this year.

“In 2010, our focus was more on low-end home living products but this year we are shifting our focus to middle-class furniture, which is simple, nice and modern,” he explained.

Last year, the MIFF exhibition clinched RM3 billion in sales and this was expected to double this year.

“The industry is getting bigger and bigger. The quality of Malaysian furniture is among the best in the world and our price is competitive compared with other countries in the region, that’s why our furniture is always in demand,” he added.

MIFF, Wong said had emerged among the top 10 furniture exhibitions in the world providing local manufacturers access to international markets.

Meanwhile, the exhibition organiser is working around the clock to woo buyers to the fair, now into its 16th year.

“MIFF is striving to present the best furniture fair in Southeast Asia, with focus on exploring and expanding into new markets every year,” MIFF Managing Director Dr Tan Chin Hua said.

With the extra effort, he is confident the number of sales and trade visitors will see record numbers this year.

– Bernama