Growing the Vietnamese market through innovative trade show displays and “Try Canadian Wood” seminars
Vietnam has become a formidable player in the global furniture industry, now ranking as the world’s second largest wooden furniture exporter, behind China. Vietnam currently exports furniture to more than 100 countries—and benefits from the free trade agreements (FTA) it has with the EU, ASEAN, South Korea, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, U.K., Canada, Mexico, Chile, and Peru, and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) it is a signatory to with Canada, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, and Singapore.
To take advantage of Vietnam’s rising importance in this sector, FII Vietnam (under the Canadian Wood brand) attended two major trade shows in Ho Chi Minh City—the Ho Chi Minh Furniture Export Fair (HAWA EXPO) 2023, February 22-25 and Vietnam International Furniture and Home Accessories Fair (VIFA), March 8-11. Both trade shows attracted significant numbers of attendees and suggests a rising interest in using Canadian wood for the growing furniture manufacturing sector in Vietnam. FII also helped to organize visits and meetings for participating BC companies.
Trade Show Quick Facts
HAWA EXPO 2023:
- 210 exhibitors and over 16,000 visitors, with 20 percent from outside Vietnam.
- 145 different manufacturers expressed interest in Canadian Wood Vietnam’s trial wood program or a site visit by their Business Development team members.
VIFA TRADESHOW 2023:
- 612 different exhibitors and brands with registrations from over 4,000 international visitors.
- Compared to past years, notable increase of foreign visitors and exhibitors.
- Promoted in influential world wood industry newspapers and magazines in major export markets such as the U.S. (Furniture Today, Furniture World), Germany (Moebel Markt), the U.K. (Furniture News, Interiors Monthly), Japan (The Home Living), globally (Furniture & Furnishing Singapore) along with other electronic and social media channels.
To promote the Canadian Wood brand the team staffed an innovative exhibition space featuring two distinct furniture collections made of western hemlock, along with sample racks showing five different species of Canadian softwoods—western hemlock, Douglas-fir, western red cedar, spruce-pine-fir (S-P-F) and yellow cedar. Information was also provided on Canada’s certified, sustainable forest management practices. With international buyers increasingly seeking furniture made from legal and sustainable wood sources, this offers a strategic opportunity for Canadian lumber suppliers.
To further boost engagement and provide in-person answers to furniture makers’ questions, the team conducted a seminar, “Try Canadian Wood: Versatile, Sustainable and Legal”, that highlighted Canada and British Columbia’s certified, sustainable forest practices and products. Attendees included manufacturers, wholesalers, designers and architects. Visits to local factories and business matching events were also part of the shows’ activities.
The FII Vietnam team was pleased with the rising awareness of, and growing interest in, Canadian softwoods from producers focused both domestically and internationally in scope. Participation in these key events helps reinforce and further establish the Canadian Wood brand and its rich diversity of sustainably-harvested wood species.