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by Jennifer Williams
The value of Thailand’s wood exports achieved a milestone in 2022, totaling 104 billion Thai baht. In the first four months of 2023 alone, export value surged to 36.4 billion Thai baht, reflecting a remarkable 5.31% increase compared to the same period last year.
In a recent webinar organized by Thailand Woodworking & Furniture Exhibition 2024 (TIWF 2024), chaired by the Thai Timber Association and Thai Furniture Association respectively, it was revealed that Thailand’s number one wood export is rubber wood, with China as one of its key markets.
Thailand has more than 3.5 million hectares of rubber woodland located largely in the southern part of the country. Thailand’s wood product exports are divided into five segments, namely processed wood, fiberboard, plywood, furniture and other wood products. Processed wood, fiberboard, and plywood accounts for 73 percent of total exports, while furniture and other wood products accounts for the remaining 27 percent.
During the webinar, key Thai wood industry players, Ta Chou Industry Co., Ltd and Union Thai Plus Co., Ltd, led discussions on opportunities of Thailand’s wood industry. There was a general consensus that Thailand’s wood industry has good growth potentials, due to abundance of raw materials. The industry also highlighted that there are many value-added products and materials that Thailand can produce and export using innovations and technology. These include termite-proof wood, fire-resistant wood, application of nano-technology on wooden furniture and scratch resistance coatings, to name a few.
The well-attended webinar also discussed the industry’s pain points. These include a lack of competitiveness in design, quality and cost due to the slow adoption of technology, machinery and automation, resulting in lack of production standardization, poor productivity, inefficient upstream and downstream processes, high wastage and increased operating costs. The industry is hence calling for the Thai government to support training initiatives to upskill and upgrade productions through the introduction of new technology solutions and machinery automation.
The Thailand International Woodworking & Furniture Fair 2024 (TIWF 2024) is staged to provide Thailand and the surrounding South East Asian woodworking industry, with a dedicated face-to-face international forum to meet, discuss, exchange views, gain new knowledge, update on trends, forge new business partnerships and networks, while at the same time address sustainability issues impacting the environment. Hosted by Thailand’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, TIWF 2024 will be held in Bangkok, Thailand from 18th to 20th September 2024, to present the latest machinery, technology, materials and supplies, fittings, hardware and components, and services, serving the wood industry of Thailand and the surrounding South East Asian region.
TIWF 2024 will take up over 5,000 sq. meters of exhibition space at the IMPACT Exhibition and Convention Centre, with more than 150 exhibiting companies, and 4,000 local and international attendees coming from the entire spectrum of the woodworking and furniture supply chain sectors. One unique highlight of TIWF 2024 is its Hosted Buyers and Business Matching Program designed to identify and invite key buyers from South East Asia to attend. This program presents exhibiting companies with the opportunity to meet directly with key decision makers seeking solutions and answers to improve their production and manufacturing efficiencies.
The importance of TIWF 2024 as a key industry platform for the wood industry of Thailand and South East Asia is underscored by the strong supports that it has received, and is still receiving from many local and international wood industry organizations. In an initiative to uplift the standards of Thailand’s wood industry, especially those located in the provinces, TIWF 2024 is working with its strategic partners to conduct a series of educational and best practice workshops in these provinces, prior to the actual TIWF event.
Visit www.thailandwoodworking.com for more information on this event.