The successful exhibition was organized by the Egyptian Exporters Association “Expolink” and the national association for Exhibitions and Conferences Services, in cooperation with the Furniture exporting council, in participation with Furniture manufacturing Chamber “GCM” and finally in cooperation with the international designer Julio Capillini.
The Cairo International Furniture Fair “furnex and the home”, which is one of the largest exhibitions of furniture, furnishings and accessories in the Middle East, was inaugurated with the participation of a number of the largest companies. The exhibition continued for 6 days and it hosted senior local furniture manufacturers, specialists in the fields of decoration, lighting, home accessories and furnishings. The exhibition was held on an area of more than 41,000 square meters at Cairo International Conventions & Exhibitions Center and was organized by the Egyptian Exporters Association (Expolink), in cooperation with the Furniture Exporting Council and chamber of manufacturing lumber and furniture.
Distinctive participation of more than 200 companies
In International Exhibition for furniture and furnishing (Furnex), this year participated over 200 local and international companies, along with a wide range of participants in the field of household accessories. According to preliminary statistics, local visitors were estimated more than 80,000 visitors, plus 1000 international specialist visitors from the international buyers programs, especially those from Arab Gulf countries, USA, European countries and the rest of the world.
International contracts and an increase in export rates
Ihab Dryas, President of the Furniture Export Council said that 25 countries and 250 global importers visited Furnex Exhibition. So far, they were signed 25 international contracts between major companies, and the figure is expected to increase, pointing out that Egypt’s targets the Saudi, Emirati and Kuwaiti markets through marketing trips to increase exports. From his part, Ahmed Helmy, President of the Furniture Manufacturing Chamber, said that the furniture exports, estimated in $ 370 million for 2016, which is a small number, pointing out that there is a lack of stability in the market due to the dollar exchange rate and the notable increase in prices. Mr. Helmy also stated that the Egyptian industry is well represented and 95% of exhibitors at Furnex are local companies, while 5% is dedicated to the imported products. Mr. Helmy pointed out that companies from Nigeria want to enter into contracts with Egyptian companies, but there are constraints and protection agreements. Vice president of Furniture Manufacturing Chamber, Sharif Abdel Hady, said that the sector’s estimated export value is $ 450 million. The decrease in oil price affected the sector's exports, indicating that the domestic market consumes 15 billion EGP a year, which 60% are covered locally and 40% are covered by the imported products. Abdul Hadi, added that the volume of projects established in the Arab countries can operate the furniture sector in Egypt for two years. Moreover, new exhibitions have started in Africa, while there is a specific strategy to introduce the Egyptian furniture and decor sector in the Russian market. In addition, exhibition was accompanied this year with a distinct show for young designers and innovators, under the name Design Hub, which will give them many opportunities to showcase their new ideas and samples of their projects. On the other hand, visitors enjoyed several seminars and conferences, that have been held on the sidelines of the exhibition. A press conference organized by the Chamber of Timber manufacturing and furniture products, together with the Exporting Council, was held on the sidelines of Furnex. Chairman of the Chamber, Ahmed Helmy, pointed out that the domestic market is on the verge of a major breakthrough, due to the big real estate projects, such as the new administrative capital, new house projects, hospitals, schools, etc.
$450 million is a targeted figure from Furniture exports by the end of 2017!
Mr. Helmy, added that the sector aims at an annual rate of 5 to 10%, and it is the third sector in Egypt in terms of added value and the second largest labor-intensive industry that employs more than one million direct worker. He also said that the Egyptian currency depreciation against the dollar is an important factor in increasing Egyptian exports. Helmy revealed that McCurry consulting firm is the company responsible for preparing the strategy for developing the furniture sector. He said that although the furniture sector is one of the AMEs, however, it depends on developing rigorous studies based on information from the market. Chairman of the Exporting Council, Ihab Dryas, said that the initial study, has been completed and it is based on a number of topics, including the size of the market. Dryas pointed out that during next March, it is expected to complete the furniture sector development strategy for the next five years. He also added that the Council aims to increase the market share for Egyptian furniture in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE markets, through exhibitions.
African countries: Natural extension of the Egyptian market
Vice chairman of the Board and the Chamber, Sharif Abdel Hadi, said that the African countries are a natural extension of the Egyptian market, which are gaining a lot of emphasis within the alternative markets of Arab countries. The Council took concrete steps towards Africa through the Exporters Association «Expolink», which has opened many exhibitions and stores in East Africa. The Egyptian furniture sector took over the task of furnishing the offices affiliated to Expolink as an approach for marketing Egyptian furniture. It is remarkable that European countries still prefer the ancient Egyptian designs. Also, new markets have been opened in Italy and new cooperations with Russia have been started!