Freeman Cebu Business

Japan looks promising for furniture exporters

Ehda M. Dagooc - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — Furniture makers in Cebu expect promising growth for the home furnishing market in Japan.


“The prospects for this year for Japan furniture market is going better,” said Cebu Furniture Industries Foundation Inc., (CFIF) past president Pete Delantar.

Delantar, who already made partnerships with Japanese companies starting about two years ago, said the Japanese market now is showing high interest for Cebu-made home furnishings, especially the home renovation sector and the houses that are offered through Airbnb.

According to Delantar, in the past two years furniture exporters have been participating in the International Furniture Fair-Tokyo (FFT), through Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) and Export Management Bureau (EMB) and allowed Cebu exporters to penetrate Japan.

“The latest IFFT was in November last year, participated by exporters from all over the country, including Cebuanos,” said Delantar, who is also the owner of Nature's Eximport Inc.

“A lot of new and existing hotels are renovating, so we would like to push the Philippine brand there,” added Delantar.

He also noted the demand surge for renovation and Airbnb segments.

Japan is currently building and opening more hotels to boost its hotel room growth in anticipation of the massive influx of Olympics tourists.

Compared to furniture made in China and Vietnam, Philippine-made pieces are favored in Japan because it has an eco-friendly component and a beautiful story behind each product.

"For some good reasons, they like our products," added Delantar, who is also a former president of PhilExport-Cebu.

Delantar noted that Japanese appetite to use home furnishings made from natural materials provide a wider advantage for his company to enter the lucrative Japanese market.

Although Japan has been a consistent number two export market of Philippine furniture, Delantar said the country offers high potential specifically for manufacturers who have high regard for green innovation.

With robust domestic market for locally-designed and made home furnishings, the soaring market in Japan is another anchor to put the industry afloat amid the global market softening.


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