The ASEAN Furniture Industries Council (AFIC) held its 38th Working Committee Meeting and Conference last November 26 to 27, 2019 in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The Conference was attended by Council Members from the Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore, Lao, Thailand, Indonesia, Myanmar, and Malaysia.
Working on its goal to promote intra-ASEAN trade, AFIC Council members first met in clusters to have focused discussions on Design and Training; Trade Missions and International Marketing; Trade Shows; Policies and Regulations; Youth (AYFE), and Executive Directors. The Committees gave updates on the ongoing programs and came up with new strategies and plans for the coming year. The Conference was held the next day to approve all the plans and synchronize all actions.
Concurrent to the AFIC Meeting and Conference, an ASEAN Business Forum was held at the Hong Bang International University in Ho Chi Minh City. The Forum, organized by Handicraft and Wood Industry Association of Ho Chi Minh City (HAWA), was attended by around 300 HAWA members, industry leaders, government representatives, instructors, and students. AFIC Council Leaders and AFIC Youth Group were invited to be part of panel discussions to talk about the ASEAN trade and furniture industries in their respective countries. The panel members also shared their experiences, success stories and challenges faced by their own firms.
A Business Trade Mission was also organized by Singapore Furniture Industries Council (SFIC) to explore possible networks and collaborations with Vietnam firms. Singapore, Philippines, Myanmar, and Indonesia participated in the said Mission and joined the business matching meetings arranged by HAWA and conducted factory visits set up by SFIC.
AFIC Council and trade mission delegates also graced the opening of the Vietnam Furniture Show (VIFA Home) last November 28. HAWA organized the said show.
For the year 2020, AFIC plans to hold another Trade Mission to Indonesia, Country Missions to several AFIC Member countries, ASEAN Youth Furniture Exchange in Malaysia, among others.
The Philippines currently holds the AFIC Chairmanship for the term 2019-2020. AFIC is an official entity of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).