SINGAPORE, 24 NOVEMBER 2021 – At the virtual 40th AFIC Conference that was held on 24 November 2021 morning, the Chamber of Furniture Industries of the Philippines (CFIP) handed over the reins of AFIC to its successor, Singapore Furniture Industries Council (SFIC). The other member countries of the AFIC are Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. Outgoing AFIC Chairman from the Philippines, Mr Emmanuel Padierno, handed over his duties to Mr Ernie Koh, who is appointed by the SFIC as Chairman of AFIC for the twoyear term. Mr Ernie Koh is the Presidential Advisor of SFIC and Executive Director of Koda Ltd, a respected and familiar figure who serve on the boards of various trade bodies. An industry veteran passionate about the furniture trade, he is also the chairman of SFIC’s trade show arm, International Furniture Fair Singapore (IFFS), and had served as SFIC President for two terms previously. With a vast experience behind him and strong international network of contacts, Mr Koh is well positioned to bring his expertise and leadership to take AFIC to greater heights. Always at the forefront of emerging trends, sustainability has been one of the key areas of focus for Ernie in his own company: “I am honoured to assume this AFIC Chairmanship and will build upon the good foundation established by the Philippines, the outgoing AFIC Chair, and respective Council Members to further strengthen intra-ASEAN trade and competitive advantage for the global market. As part of our AFIC 2025 roadmap towards a sustainable future, AFIC has the impetus to spearhead initiatives to uplift achieving sustainability and bridging the action-intention gap. A special Sustainability task force will be formed to work together with related stakeholders to tackle challenges faced in the bid to adopt green business practices and grow more regional growth champions. Koda, for instance, buys materials from sustainable sources and also aim to improve manufacturing processes through solar power systems in our manufacturing facilities. End consumers are now more knowledgeable about sustainability issues while corporate customers with similar needs will also source from suppliers that are compliant in this regard. There will be a greater demand for sustainable products in the coming future and our industry needs to embrace this trend which cannot be ignored”, Mr Koh said. Supported by veteran SFIC Executive Committee leader and AFIC advisor, Mr Jerry Tan, as well as the SFIC secretariat, other plans in the pipeline include initiatives to drive business transformation as well as capability building among AFIC members. SFIC Vice President, Mr Jake Tan, a nextgen leader, has been appointed as AFIC Secretary General and will be tasked with reviewing dated practices, engaging the ASEAN Youth Furniture Exchange and leveraging technology to pivot and expedite transformation. SFIC will also play host to the AFIC 41st Meeting and Conference in 2022 and further details will be announced next year.