Ecuador and the Dominican Republic, new markets for Guatemalan wooden furniture
Delegations from El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Panama, Belize, Mexico, the United States, the Dominican Republic and Ecuador attended a new fair organized by AGEXPORT to promote Guatemalan furniture products. The Living Interior Furniture Expo (L.I.F.E.) was organized by the Furniture and Forestry Products commission of AGEXPORT and gathered more than 50 international buyers, 22 of whom visited the country for the first time and were identified thanks to AGEXPORT’s new online platform ‘Connecting Best Market’.
We have identified Ecuador and the Dominican Republic as next markets for our products. Both countries are experiencing a high growth in their real estate industry, which would lead to higher demands of furniture and other wood products. That is why, for the first time we invited representatives of Dominican private sector chambers as well as importing firms which look for top quality products for their real estate projects, said Mr. Luis Pedro Solares, president of the L.I.F.E.’s organization committee.
The Furniture and Forestry Products commission of AGEXPORT expect to increase its participation on real estate projects. Solely on 2017, 37% of the US$176 exported on 2017 were products related with construction, such as windows, doors and floors.
The Ecuadorian delegation was formed by companies of the consortium ‘Modul Tec’ who were interested on Guatemalan furniture and wooden products. In total, buyers that attended L.I.F.E. have more than 650 renown retail stores such as Lady Lee, Siman, Grupo Monge, Electra, Unicormer, Sears, Curts, among others. As many as 100 business meetings were made throughout the event, which were expected to translate to than USD8.3 million in exports in the upcoming months, said Mr. Solares.
The event took place on June 6th and 7th, 2018 at Antigua Guatemala and displayed Guatemalan furniture and wood products such as laminated floors, doors, windows, living room furniture, dining tables, bedroom sets among others.
Unique ‘Author’s Designs’ displayed at L.I.F.E.
AGEXPORT’s Furniture and Forestry Products commission gave birth on 2018 to a new segment called ‘Author’s Design Furniture’, formed by eight companies led by architects and industrial designers. This segment seeks to develop export-quality furniture with unique touches requested by international interior designers and developers of international projects.
L.I.F.E. opened a special exhibition set with exclusive designs, expecting to attract attendees to its 2019 edition. This ‘author’s design’ segment is expecting an important increase as it combines sculpture, art, engineering and industrial processes. It gives an added value to original designs and mixes them with our expertise on selecting materials and colors, said Mr. Ivar Perez, president of AGEXPORT’s Furniture and Forestry Products commission.
E-commerce and opening offices in the United States are important achievements of Guatemalan furniture companies
Following the participation of the Guatemalan delegation at the ‘Las Vegas Market’ international fair, two members of the Furniture and Forestry Products commission of AGEXPORT plan to open branches in the United States.
The commission is also seeking to implement new business strategies, such as entering e-commerce platforms like Amazon. These new strategies push our industry to continuously innovate and look for new alternatives to conquer new markets, said Mr. Perez.