Furniture Association Aims Middle East Over EU Export Market

The Indonesian Furniture and Craft Association (HIMKI) chairman, Abdul Sobur, on Sunday revealed that exports to the European Union market had gone down by 0.1 percent in 2022. He said that this is the reason HIMKI members are now eyeing the Middle Eastern market to revive the Indonesian furniture industry.

HIMKI estimates that countries in the Middle East will become the largest furniture market in the world, replacing the European Union, effectively deeming it the current emerging market.

“The future dominant market will no longer be America and Europe but Asia and the Middle East. The future is heading there,” Abdul said at the Jakarta International Expo, Kemayoran on Sunday, March 12.

He also claims trust in this emerging market is backed by the commitment shown by Saudi Arabian Prince Mohammad bin Salman. Abdul predicts that various countries in the Middle East, such as Qatar, Israel, and the United Arab Emirates, will continue to carry out massive developments. Therefore, these countries have a very large demand for furniture.

“Dubai is even reportedly planning to make a new city seven times the size of Dubai, that could be a new market,” Abul argues.

Nevertheless, he assessed that there are still many business actors focusing on the traditional export market, namely the European Union. In fact, exports there have become increasingly stringent since the enactment of the Deforestation Law, which requires Indonesian exporters to meet Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) standards to enter this market.

This means that the raw materials for furniture must come from planted trees, not wild ones. Indonesia is also currently fighting for the timber legality verification system or SVLK to apply in the European market and be on par with FSC.

Abdul claims that he had succeeded in exporting to five countries in the Middle East. “I have entered Qatar, Dubai, Oman, Bahrain, and Kuwait,” he said.

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