THE Malaysian International Furniture Fair (MIFF) 2019 crossed the billion-dollar mark in sales for the first time in its 25-year history.
Exhibitors at MIFF 2019 raked in US$1.01bil (RM4.2bil) in sales over four days, a 3% increase over the previous high of US$984mil (RM4.12bil) in 2018. The record performance was achieved a year after the trade show was expanded to a 100,000sq m space across the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (Mitec) and Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC).
Organiser UBM Malaysia reported that MIFF 2019 had attracted 20,478 visitors, including 6,112 global buyers from 130 countries, marking a 4% increase from last year.
A total of 600 exhibitors from 14 countries – 346 Malaysian and 254 foreign companies – showcased new products and collections under the theme Design Connects People.
The spotlight was on Muar, which had been officially recognised as the Furniture City of Malaysia.
MIFF has strong ties with companies from the southern manufacturing hub, which was further strengthened by a strategic partnership between MIFF and Muar Furniture Association in 2013.
“Celebrating our 25th anniversary with a milestone like this is certainly something that we are proud of,” said MIFF general manager Karen Goi.
“It is the best endorsement of MIFF by the markets. But what makes us most proud is that we continue to place our customers and their business priorities first even as we are on a strong growth path.”
MIFF boasts the biggest export platform for Malaysian wood furniture and office furniture in South-East Asia.
MIFF exhibitor RTA Corporation Sdn Bhd showcased Malaysian-made mattresses targeted at US buyers.
“Due to the tax imposed on China-made mattresses, people in the US are looking for other options,” said RTA sales manager Albert Hsueh.
Spanish businessman Alejandro Montoya said Malaysian wood products and designs were a big attraction for foreign buyers.
“Many of our customers in Spain like minimalistic wooden products, and there are various choices at MIFF.
“Malaysian wood is known for its quality and that is what we are here for,” he said.
As for new exhibitor Colmol from Portugal, its vice-president of sales (Europe) Andrea Solares said: “Our main objective was to find partners in South-East Asia, but we were pleasantly surprised that we were able to find partners from the whole world at MIFF.”Next year’s edition of the annual trade show will be held from March 6 to 9 at the same two venues. It has already drawn strong rebookings from this year’s exhibitors.
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