KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, April 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Malaysian International Furniture Fair (MIFF), which is Southeast Asia's leading industry show, has posted yet another record sales of US$854 million, an increase of US$24 million from last year, after five days of bustling trade from March 5 to 9 in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur.
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The 2013 fair attracted 18,397 trade visitors including 6,054 international buyers from 140 countries with a good turnout of strong buyers from emerging regions and the strong traditional markets of Australia, the United States and Japan.
MIFF 2013 which was 25% bigger had 504 exhibitors from Malaysia, Australia, mainland China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, the United States, India, Spain and Turkey. The 2013 fair covered over 80,000 square metres at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) and Matrade Exhibition and Convention Centre (MECC). It is the biggest furniture fair outside China for global exhibition organiser, UBM.Immediately after the show, a significant 70% of exhibitors confirmed their participation again for the next MIFF scheduled from 4 to 8 March, 2014. In recent years, MIFF has emerged as a springboard into the fast growing markets of Southeast Asia, Central Asia, Africa, Middle East, Eastern Europe and South America. Last year, MIFF notched up a high of US$830 million in sales, representing a third of Malaysia's RM8 billion furniture exports to 199 countries in 2012. Datuk Dr. Tan Chin Huat, Chairman of MIFF, said: "We are delighted at the sales record because MIFF has delivered yet again despite the global economic uncertainties. This underscores the continuing appeal of MIFF and how it remains relevant in the global furniture market. Another important point I must make is that we are getting more high quality buyers from all over the world. We have very good feedback from the exhibitors who are pleased with their strong order books. This is definitely a big boost for MIFF going into our 20 th anniversary next year." The improvement in quality and the bigger variety in designs were singled out by international judges of the Furniture Excellence Award which picked Spain's Resinas Olot SL and Malaysia's Oasis Furniture Industries Sdn. Bhd. for the platinum awards in household furniture and office furniture categories respectively. Exhibitors were pleased with the presence of many buyers with strong purchasing power to place orders on the spot and new business from more emerging markets in Europe, Middle East, Indian sub-continent, Africa and South America. Jane Lee of Oasis Furniture Industries Sdn. Bhd. said there was lot of interest from the United Arab Emirates and Singapore for the company's newly launched Bracca sectional seating system which makes the workplace more interactive, productive and fun, "one customer commented that they had never seen office furniture like this before." Buyer Asharaff Alli Ebrahim of Gani's Exports from South Africa, on his ninth buying trip to MIFF, said: "As a specialist in office furniture, case goods and associated accessories, I'm always looking out for unique products to offer our clientele. In terms of office furniture, we are spoilt for choice this year. I find buying Malaysian products a lot easier because people here speak English and they are much more efficient. I've never had to check a container from Malaysia my whole life. If I give an order, it will be executed the way I ordered it." Michael Zhou of Taiwan's Sammega Furniture Materials Co Ltd., who declared his company will return again to MIFF next year, found the crowd very diversified and was visited by buyers from countries in South America, North America and the Mediterranean region. In another highlight, the MIFF Furniture Design Competition (FDC) held in conjunction with the trade show produced an exciting finish with an international seven-member jury awarding two first prizes for the first time to college design students, Kok Wen Yee for a unique versatile wall-mounted storage panel and Emmy Kong Pek Kei for a minimalist styled coffee table made with the rare combo of rattan, steel and glass. Chief Judge Klaus Kummer, a German design consultant, said: "The designers have shown great understanding of what is expected from them and have created real products for the real world. The manufacturers have picked up and understood the ideas and created samples, which are of very high quality and almost ready for production, marketing and sales. We can sense a level of excitement, which we have not seen before." Kummer also said MIFF FDC, which began four years ago as the Ideation Award to groom furniture design talent, was comparable to other international furniture competitions.