|Visitors check out furniture at Bao Hung's stall at the VIFA-EXPO 2015, which opened in HCM City's Saigon Convention and Exhibition Centre yesterday. — VNS photo Xuan Huong
HCM CITY (VNS) — The Viet Nam International Furniture and Home Accessories Fair opened yesterday in HCM City.
VIFA-EXPO 2015, which actually combines two annual wooden furniture fairs — VIFA and EXPO — has seen an increase of 25 per cent and 42 per cent in terms of the number of exhibitors and scale from last year, Nguyen Quoc Khanh, chairman of the Handicraft and Wood Industry Association of HCM City (Hawa), said.
There are 177 exhibitors who have put up 900 booths, including 31 foreign exhibitors from 17 countries and territories, up 89 per cent, he said.
Products on display include wooden products (accounting for 73.7 per cent), handicrafts (2.6 per cent), interior accessories (15.4 per cent), and support industry products (8.3 per cent).
The fair will feature seminars on improving the quality of human-resource training in the wood industry and on opportunities and challenges in exporting wood products to the US.
To serve international visitors, estimated at around 3,000, the association has signed an agreement with the Tourism Association of HCM City to assist them with hotels, transport, visas, travel, and others, Khanh said.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh said that despite the global economic difficulties, Viet Nam's wooden furniture industry achieved US$6.2 billion in exports last year, a year-on-year increase of 11.5 per cent.
VIFA -EXPO 2015 offers an opportunity for trade promotion by bringing local and international companies together for more trade co-operation and exchange, he said.
Organised by the HCM City Department of Industry and Trade and Hawa, the fair will remain open until March 14 at the Sai Gon Convention and Exhibition Centre. Only the final day is for the public.
Tran Trung Hau and Pham Ngoc Quynh Giao, students of Ton Duc Thang University, have won the first prize in the 2014-15 Hoa Mai (Apricot Blossom) furniture design competition, organisers announced yesterday.
Organised by Hawa, the 12th edition of the competition for young talent to generate new ideas to boost the furniture industry, had attracted 244 entries from university students, company workers, and freelance designers nation-wide. The winning works are on display at the VIFA-EXPO.
For the first time, Hawa has chosen eight winning works from the Hoa Mai contest from 2010 to 2013 for display at the International Furniture Fair of Singapore (IFFS) from March 13 to 16.
The move aims to promote Vietnamese furniture designs abroad as well as create opportunities for young Vietnamese designers to exchange information with famous international designers, Khanh said. — VNS