AFA News

Australian Buyers flock to China for major Trade Events

Friday, September 16, 2016


The Australian Furniture Association has just returned from China, having led a small delegation of designer makers to exhibit in Australia’s International Pavilions last week.

‘Another amazing experience for our great Australian talent who drew the attention of some of the world’s best critics and buyers alike,’ says AFA CEO Patrizia Torelli. ‘We were thrilled for our exhibitors who received high praise indeed with many commenting that our exhibit was the only one showing truly unique new design concepts, even amongst some of the world’s design powerhouses.’

‘We even attracted the attention of the largest social media company in China, WeChat! With over 578 million daily users this was an incredible coup for our small footprint into this massive market. Our designers were interviewed by the Tencent Media crew (founders of WeChat) with the interview being broadcast to their 1.1 billion accounts within a few days of the interview. This is a money can’t buy outcome, which I hope our exhibitors will utilize to grow their reach into the China market.’ Check out the interviews HERE

The Australian Pavilion was one of over 2000 exhibits at the China International Furniture Fair (CIFF) with exposure to 84,696 visitors from China and abroad. The event included seminars with speakers from across the globe, including AFA CEO Patrizia Torelli presenting on the current status of the Australian Furniture Market.

Australian exhibitors who made the trek and featured in the broadcast include Alby Johnston of Bayspoke Studio (NSW); Geoffrey Cameron Marshall (Tas); Steve Forrest of Forrest Design (Vic); Peter Kitely and Kianoosh Kavoosi of Kitely Kavoosi Design (WA); NZ Venture Company (NZ); and TUV Rheinland (international).

‘Interestingly, we noted the increased number of Australian Buyers ordering product in time for the Christmas sales period,’ says Ms Torelli. ‘Container loads of product will hit our shores in time for the Christmas rush. The global marketplace for furniture is thriving, so it was a great experience for our Australian team who are venturing out for the first time, but with the support of the national body, to see for themselves what is possible. It’s tough enough breaking into new markets, but as a collective the risks are reduced and the learnings are tremendous.’

Plans are already in place for 2017 with the AFA introducing tours for both Australian Buyers and Sellers in the Asia region.

‘The AFA has been invited to host a series of International Pavilions across Asia, from Singapore to Malaysia and beyond, and even a return to China in the coming year,’ continues Ms Torelli. ‘It will be an exciting few months as we determine which will be the best markets for Australian companies wanting to expand into global markets.’

For enquiries relating to the AFA International Pavilions or the AFA’s WeChat experience contact the AFA on +9856 1600 or email

To read more about WeChat click HERE

To read more about the Chine International Furniture Fair click HERE


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