Singapore Furniture Industries Council embarks on trade mission to Shanghai and Hangzhou

SINGAPORE — The Singapore Furniture Industries Council (SFIC), with the support of Enterprise Singapore (EnterpriseSG), will be leading a delegation on a Trade Mission to Shanghai and Hangzhou, China from the 11th to 15th of September 2023. Simultaneously, 9 other local companies will be exhibiting at the Furniture China trade fair in Shanghai across the same dates under a Singapore pavilion.

SFIC’s trade mission to China endeavours to foster exchanges of knowledge and experiences on global trends and best practices with experts and leaders, such as on sustainability. The programme also seeks to provide the delegation with essential information and foster partnerships, and for these industry leaders to better identify opportunities in overseas markets and make informed decisions about internationalisation strategies. These are crucial in furniture companies’ roadmaps to become more future-ready and competitive in the global furniture landscape.

The SFIC Trade Mission to China is strategically designed to achieve the following objectives:

1.  Exploring China’s Latest Technologies and Trends in the Furniture Sector:

+ The mission will offer participants an opportunity to gain insights into China’s cutting-edge technologies, emerging trends, and innovative practices in the furniture industry. This includes B2B interactions to gain insights into China’s evolving lifestyle and design preferences and be more well-equipped to curate products and services that are catered to local Chinese consumers’ needs and wants.

+ Through attending internationally renowned trade shows such as Furniture China and Maison Shanghai and visiting leading furniture malls Red Star Macalline, Shanghai Home Expo and Norhor, participants will have the opportunity to immerse themselves first-hand in the constantly evolving furniture and furnishing landscape and trends of China. 

+ The SFIC delegation will be engaging with Cohost, a modern co-living space that emphasizes Health, Design, and Community in Shanghai.

2.  Identifying Business Opportunities in Shanghai and Hangzhou:

+ During the trade mission, SFIC members will explore potential business opportunities in Shanghai and Hangzhou. Delegates’ engagement with entrepreneurship and innovation platform XNode in Shanghai will enable them to establish key networks and engage with an experienced accelerator facilitating market entry into China. Additionally, exploring the Hangzhou Linping District, the renowned manufacturing hub for fabrics and furniture upholstery, will provide valuable insights into supply chain dynamics. SFIC delegates will be gaining important connections with local manufacturers and suppliers to foster potential business partnerships.

3.  Learning from China’s Best Practices in Furniture Sustainability:

+ As sustainability becomes an increasingly crucial aspect of the global furniture industry, the SFIC Trade Mission to China will focus on understanding China’s best practices in sustainable furniture manufacturing.

+ This focus on sustainability is in line with the SFIC 2025 Roadmap to position the Singapore furniture industry as the nexus of tomorrow’s work-life integration for sustainable urban living. Since the launch of its Furniture Sustainability Programme in 2022, SFIC has been consistently promoting sustainable practices in the Singapore furniture industry, with various initiatives such as the Sustainability Leaders Programme (SLP) and Sustainability Leaders Recognition (SLR), which spotlights first movers in the industry that have displayed exemplary sustainable practices.

+ Delegates will be visiting Space Matrix Blink in Shanghai, which creates unique and immersive workspaces that inspire people and impact businesses. A Singapore-headquartered design studio, Space Matrix has deep and relevant project experience in over 80 cities and 15 office locations. With a commitment for design excellence, Space Matrix consistently ranks in Interior Design Magazine’s Top 100 Design Giants and has won multiple International Property Awards. Their sharing of their expertise on creating and delivering profitable, sustainable, and future-­ready workplace solutions will spur our Singaporean industry to look into developing capabilities and partnerships in more sustainable built environment projects.

+ A visit to Sunon Technological Park in Hangzhou, specializing in smart and more sustainable furniture manufacturing, will offer further valuable knowledge and inspiration that will enhance sustainability efforts in the Singaporean furniture industry. Sunon is a renowned multinational company with global headquarters in Hangzhou, China; U.S. headquarters in Irvine, California; and an R&D center in Berlin, Germany. They have deep capabilities in smart and more sustainable furniture and built environment solutions, serving customers in 115 countries with more than 4,000 employees around the globe.

Phua Boon Huat, President of the Singapore Furniture Industries Council (SFIC), says, “The SFIC Trade Mission to China presents a remarkable opportunity for SFIC members to engage with the dynamic Chinese furniture market, exchange knowledge and best practices with regional industry leaders, and fortify sustainability efforts. We look forward to seeing how this mission will open new doors for collaborations and enhance the competitiveness of the Singaporean furniture industry on the global stage.”

Sarah Ler, Director of Retail and Design, EnterpriseSG, says, “It is crucial for our furniture companies to stay competitive in the global market by proactively seeking out opportunities overseas, to tap into new markets, and to diversify their revenue streams. I am pleased to see that our industry partners, such as SFIC, are leading the way in such efforts. EnterpriseSG is committed to continuing our work with industry partners to curate more opportunities for Singapore companies in overseas markets and facilitating more collaborations in technology and innovation for the furniture industry.”

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