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Cebu Furniture Industries Foundation Inc.(CFIF) president Angela Figueroa-Paulin (3rd from left) and Philconstruct president Augusto Manalo (second from right) announce the upcoming trade shows in June organized by the CFIF and Philconstruct at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino. (Junjie Mendoza)



FURNITURE and furnishings exporters in Cebu are turning to the local market as their usual markets abroad are facing economic difficulties.The very busy construction activities seen in the country only show that there is a demand for furniture and furnishing products, which local manufacturers are capable of producing, said Angela Figueroa-Paulin, Cebu Furniture Industries Foundation Inc. (CFIF) president, during yesterday’s launching of a trade show to introduce their products to the domestic market.The show called Tubod: The Philippines Ultimate Domestic Furniture Trade Show will be held on June 6 to June 8 at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino and will be held simultaneously with the Visayas PhilConstruct Show.

As of first quarter of 2011, the construction projects increased by 11.6 percent year-on-year with values going up to P52.8 billion and up to $2.9 billion worth of projects are still in works and is expected to reach $20.6 billion by end of 2015 based on data from the National Statistics Office and Business Monitor International.

Construction of residential condominium units also posted a 17.4 percent increase while commercial condominiums posted 6 percent growth from 2009 to 2010 based on the units licensed by the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB).

“In 2010, construction projects surged by at least 59.5 percent according to NSO. The residential and non-residential structures are up by 18.1 percent. Private construction projects are up by 9.9 percent,” said Philippine Constructors Association (PCA) president Augusto Manalo.

PCA executive director Manolito Madrasto agreed.

New markets

Madrasto said that the export industry had to shift its focus from their traditional markets to the new emerging markets like those in Asia with the Philippines being among the most promising market in the region.

“Of the whole demand, we are sad to say that only 20 percent is catered by the local manufacturers while the majority 80 percent are satisfied by the imported products from China and Malaysia. They have been benefiting from the local market and it’s time that the local manufacturers benefit from the local market,” said Madrasto.

The Tubod Show is organized for the domestic market.

Interior designers’ representative Hannah Lim said they were happy about the decision of the exporters to start catering to the local market.

40 firms

According to CFIF chairman for market development Christina Gaston, 40 companies are joining the show in June.

Manalo said that they have confidence in the creativity of the local manufacturers and that it could be their niche to compete locally.

“The challenge now however is how to translate these designs into products that will be appreciated by the mass market,” said Manalo.

Paulin said that they were starting to learn more and know more about the local market which was relatively new to most of them who are used to the markets abroad.

“That is what we are trying to do now. We will try and learn more about what the market wants and how we can introduce our products and penetrate the market,” said Paulin.

Hotels eyed

According to Paulin, they know initially that the trend now globally and also in the local market is custom-made furniture and furnishings and they can offer these products.

“We are looking at tapping the residential sector and the hotels that will be opening here in Cebu,” said Paulin.

Article Source: http://cebudailynews.ph/enterprise/story/7989


Publish in Cebu Daily Newspaper April 4, 2013 (P. 23)