Gulf construction surge raises furniture imports
Last year the UAE imported $3.8 million worth of furniture from Hong Kong, which was a 40 percent increase on 1999. The United Arab Emirates is ranked as Hong Kong’s 14th largest importer of furniture with Saudi Arabia just behind in 15th place. Saudi Arabia imported $3.3 million worth of furniture last year, which was a rise of 32 percent on 1999.
A surge in commercial and residential construction projects throughout the Gulf is behind the growth, according to Cheuk F. Ng, director of the Middle East-Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC). “This is particularly true of the commercial sector and we are specifically targeting this,” he said.
Ng says modern designs and internationally competitive pricing have given Hong Kong a segment-edge. The majority of Hong Kong furniture companies have set up production facilities on the Chinese mainland where costs are lower and skilled labour is available.
“An increased presence of Hong Kong exhibitors at Index 2001 is a clear indication of how important this segment of the Middle East market is to Hong Kong,” said Ng. Index 2001 is a regional trade event for the furnishing and interiors industries, which will be held at the Dubai World Trade Centre from October 3-7. With more than 1,200 exhibitors from over 50 countries, Index 2001 will feature over 20 national pavilions, including, for the first time, official Turkish, Argentinean and Brazilian participation. — (Mena Report)
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)