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South-East Asia – seen up close

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(March 2015)
Forget the visions of an exotic holiday destination: South East Asia is one of the world areas where encouraging economic signs are coming from today, furniture field included.

In the World Bank Global Competitiveness Report 2014-15, Singapore – already in the topmost places for world economic freedom – occupies a stable first place in ASEAN, and second place globally; while Malaysia has risen towards the leading group, sitting squarely now between the top twenty world countries for competitiveness – one the most important Asian emerging countries, aiming to become one of the top hubs for international finance.
Among the most important markets in the world for furniture trade and manufacturing, Malaysia and Singapore are quite different, but both of interest to the professionals working in the field.

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Asia and the furniture trade fairs

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The South-East Asia map

The South East Asian international furniture fairs, among which we find MIFF (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), IFFS (Singapore), and the two most important Chinese fairs, CIFF and Furniture China – among the biggest and most important trade fairs in the world, are the four key events to watch to get a good look of the Far East markets, and understand both what is their untapped potential – hardly ever touched by Italian furniture companies – and which are the obstacles that need to be overcome by a company deciding to confront with them.
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