China eyes Lao furniture imports

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VietStock FI English - 34 month(s) ago 9 readings

China eyes Lao furniture imports

The Lao Furniture Association has urged its members to improve their factories, production and staff skills to produce quality furniture for export to the Chinese market.

Lao furniture products attract Chinese interest at the fifth China-Asean Expo, which took place in 2008 in Nanning, China.

Lao furniture products attract Chinese interest at the fifth China-Asean Expo, which took place in 2008 in Nanning, China.

Lao furniture products attract Chinese interest at the fifth China-Asean Expo, which took place in 2008 in Nanning, China.

An association representative, Mr Phoungphachanh Sengmixay, made the comment at a meeting last week, adding that development will be spurred by the addition of production machinery and kilns or furnaces.

“The development will ensure production reaches an international standard to meet market demand,” he said.

“Once the members complete their development requirements, they can get a list of ordered products from the association office and start manufacturing.”

The association signed a furniture business cooperation project agreement with a Chinese furniture importer group in October.

The agreement will see the production of furniture worth up to 2.6 trillion kip (US$333 million) per year for supply to the Chinese market for the next 20 years, he explained, adding that “the market is large and buyers have big money with which to buy our products.”

Mr Phoungphachanh said the Chinese furniture importer group recently visited Laos and deemed the current skill level of furniture makers too low and production slow.

The association will invite Chinese technicians to work at the furniture factories involved in exporting to the Chinese market.

Initially only two factories - Mr Phoungphachanh's PKK Lao Furniture Factory Ltd, along with Mr Khamphay Somsana's Furniture-Wood Product Manufacture – will serve as models, working closely with the Chinese technicians to make sure their wares meet market demand.

“Each factory will have one or two technicians to ensure production is up to standard,” he said.

Mr Phoungphachanh said he is in the process of expanding his factory and adding more machinery, adding that the production levels of the two factories is insufficient to meet Chinese needs.

The Chinese group will provide a loan to the association so it can enlarge the country's production capacity. “However, initially we have to use our own money to produce about one or two containers of products to show the group that we can meet requirements,” he said.

Last week, the association told its members not to worry about wood or timber supply because it had submitted a proposal to the government requesting a reliable supply of raw materials.

Association President Mr Khamphay Somsana said “The state sector has agreed to provide us with the raw materials for production at each factory.”

“We are ready to take delivery of the wood to commence production. Now we have to improve our workers' skills and production management,” he added.

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