• Saudi, UAE eye PH furniture

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    Companies in the Middle East are looking at the Philippines to source furniture, which pose a potential market for locally made furnishings.

    In a statement, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said a total of 14 furniture and furnishing companies in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are set to visit the Philippines for potential product sourcing.

    The DTI said this is a part of the Manila FAME event spearheaded by the DTI-Center for International Trade Expositions and Mission (CITEM), which will run from April 21 to 24 at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.

    The event aims to showcase products from more than 200 local micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the fashion and furniture industry to cater to over 1,000 foreign and local pre-registered buyers.

    The business delegation of Saudi and UAE firms are from various sectors—hotels, resorts, restaurants, and cafes, among others. The delegation will tour the exhibits during the Manila FAME event, as well as engage in business matching sessions with pre-selected companies by the DTI.

    “These business delegations are a sign of rising interest in the Philippines from companies in the Middle East, which also makes it an opportune time for Filipino exporters to consider that region’s market, particularly the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries,” Eric Elnar, commercial attaché of the Philippine Trade and Investment Center-Dubai (PTIC-Dubai), said.

    PTIC-Dubai said the local furniture and furnishings segment has a lot of potential in the GCC market due to ongoing construction projects as a part of the region’s shift from being an oil-based economy to being a services-led one. With the upcoming FIFA World Cup in 2022, the GCC region is also expecting to see increased investment in the tourism industry.

    “Arab countries are also continuously redeveloping their living and working spaces, in line with their culture of refurnishing their houses every year before the holy month of Ramadan. This is a great opportunity for our exporters, as the fit-out of one five-star hotel room can cost $1 million, while to furnish a restaurant in the UAE starts at AED 100,000 (P1.25 million),” Elnar said.

    Manila Fame is a bi-annual event hosted by the DTI-CITEM, which provides trade platforms for local MSMEs and designers to conduct business with foreign and local buyers.

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