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Lao furniture, wood products attract Chinese buyers
Publication Date : 15-06-2012
Lao furniture and other wood products are enjoying increasing demand from China but a shortage of skilled carpenters is limiting local and export sales.
To improve the situation, the Lao Furniture Association is encouraging school leavers who are unable to continue on to tertiary education to train in woodworking.
Association President Khamphay Somsana attended the 20th China Import and Export Fair, which took place in Kunming, China, from June 6-10.
On the sidelines of the Fair, he told Vientiane Times that Laos has many companies engaged in the industry, some of whom enjoy success both at home and internationally, but there are others who seemingly lack the resources to enter exhibitions and promote their products.
Khamphay said Laos needed more furniture companies to participate in overseas trade fairs, especially in China.
“Exhibitions provide good opportunities to promote sales and develop skills in international marketing,” he said.
About 20 Lao companies participated in the Kunming fair, showing furniture, jewellery and silver products, but the booths displaying furniture attracted the most attention.
Most of the furniture and wood products on display were made from recycled wood and other timber such as may dou, may khayoung and may tae.
The sales of Lao furniture and other wood products through the Fair has grown each year due to the attraction they have for Chinese people,” said Khamthanaphone Wooden Art Company Director Vilath Thayalath.
His company has sent its products to trade fairs in Laos and China many times and has received good sales as a result.
They are now seeking potential employees who wish to learn the craft of woodworking, and offer salary and accommodation while training.
“After they have completed the course and want to work for the company, we have jobs available,” Vilath said.
Currently the company has 280 employees, of whom 200 are women.
“We also have two Chinese craftsmen who have considerable experience and can provide suggestions and demonstrations during the training process.”
“Laos has good potential for the manufacture of wood products because we have a lot of natural resources,” said Vilath.
“But we need the cooperation of both the government and the people to protect this valuable resource because we see that timber stocks are decreasing.”
“Waste timber and low cost wood can be increased in value when we use it to make furniture, which also benefits the Lao people,” he added.