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European Furniture Manufacturers Federation Conference in May To Discuss China

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The first edition of the World Furniture Congress has a Spanish flavour. From May 23rd to May 25th, 2006 the city of Palma de Majorca, located in the Balearic Islands, will host this international meeting organized by the European Furniture Manufacturers Federation (UEA). The reason for this first international meeting of the furniture industry is the need to react to the changes that are characterizing this sector in the last years and that affect both its productive structure and the business model between suppliers, manufacturers and retailers. These changes are evident, according to the Congress presentation report, in the important development of the industry in the emergent countries - principally China and Southeast-Asia; in the relocation of production capacity and in the redirection of investments to countries with minor production costs; in the private consumption crisis in the main Western European economies; and in the consequences of the globalization in the sector (international retailing, diversity of consumer preferences, spreading competition all over the globe). During the three days of congress, the more than 300 participants that are expected by the organization will be able to evaluate new management models for the companies in the sector, to observe the latest trends in furniture manufacturing and its processes, and to develop strategic plans for identifying key business factors and the evolution of knowledge of clients and suppliers. Debates, practical cases, round tables and product and new technologies exhibitions, will be completed with business meetings, as one of the principal aims of the meeting is to project a business centre with a world wide network to promote the managerial collaboration and new business opportunities based on new needs and on the introduction of recent technologies for the industry. In fact, the Congress will be the occasion to evaluate the creation of an official international cooperation body for the sector. The organisers and participants will try to arrive at the signature of a world cooperation protocol that might establish the association rules for a future World Furniture Forum, an entity that would canalize the sectorial worries towards the different public administrations and would stimulate the strategic management ability and the competitiveness of the companies. The organizers expect the presence of both national and international participants with many international furniture organisations already having confirmed their interest in both the congress and in the possible creation of a World Furniture Forum. Technical assistance and management of the content will be provided by the Furniture, Wood, Packaging and Related Technology Institute (AIDIMA), with support of the Centre Tecnològic Balear de la Fusta (CETEBAL), both with central offices in Spain. Press Office. Valencia, on September 21st, 2005.- The “Conselleria de Comerç, Indústria i Energia del Govern Balear” has signed a collaboration agreement with the “Federació de la Fusta i Suro de les Illes Balears” to support the organization by the UEA of the first World Furniture Congress. The agreement plans a 305.000 € economic contribution for the development of this event that will take place between May 23rd and 25th, 2006 in the central office of the “Escola d'Hotelería de les Illes Balears”. The aforementioned federation acts as the symposium’s local organizer, and can count on the collaboration of the Federation of Spanish Furniture Businessmen and Industrialists (FEDERMUEBLE) and of the Spanish Furniture Industrialists and Exporters National Association (ANIEME), besides the renowned CETEBAL and AIDIMA. For more information contact Bart De Turck. secretariat@uea.be

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