Philippine furniture manufacturers expect to sustain export growth of at least 10 percent as domestic demand continues to grow, the Philippine Exporters Confederation (Philexport) said.
“Ten percent is very sure this year. We are just talking only of exports but the growth of the local market is much, much higher. There are companies … [whose]production is fully booked with the local market,” said Myrna Bituin, Philiexport trustee for the furniture sector, in a statement.
Bituin said the local furniture industry was currently focusing on the high-end market and catering to projects overseas.
“We say projects like, for example, in the Middle East, the palaces in Qatar, the villas in Morocco, the villas in Abu Dhabi. They are quite different from the regular exports but they are something that sustains the growth,” she said.
Local demand, meanwhile, is being boosted by a booming property market.
“Today, if you are going to check, the big hotels, their suppliers are local exporters. We are talking of something like a 600-room hotel which is being now supplied by local companies, that is really a tremendous growth,” Bituin said.
“Today, I can say that a lot of companies are busy because of the local market. But of course it is also important for us to tap, go into exports,” she added.
Bituin, however, said local furniture manufacturers needed to improve their export marketing strategies to seize business opportunities.
“The real problem is the pricing. We really have to meet the price points of clients and for that reason, we have always talked about productivity,” she said.