Singapore

Transformation road map for furniture and furnishings industry here

Council urges local companies to innovate and tap on technology to be Asian hub by 2021

The council that represents the furniture and furnishings industry in Singapore has unveiled an industry transformation road map with the aim of making the sector an Asian hub by 2021.

At the opening of Singapore Design Week yesterday, the Singapore Furniture Industries Council (SFIC) announced a slew of strategies to keep the industry competitive and sustain its long-term growth.

These include helping local firms expand beyond Singapore, encouraging employees to upgrade skills, and promoting the viewing of design as something that goes beyond aesthetics to provide urban living solutions.

SFIC president Mark Yong said the global furniture industry is expected to grow from $631 billion last year to $766 billion in 2021, with the highest growth coming from Asia.

The 2021 furniture industry road map urges local companies to be innovative and tap technology, rather than rely on traditional business concepts and supply chains.

A Living Lab will also be launched here by 2021 to promote trade and collaboration between industry partners.

In addition, a new Digital Insights Programme, offering seminars by experts in big data, analytics and data visualisation, will benefit local small and medium-sized enterprises.

The road map was commissioned by the SFIC, with funding from the DesignSingapore Council.

It was drawn up with input from groups such as the furniture industry, urban planners and architects, as well as the DesignSingapore Council, International Enterprise Singapore and Spring Singapore.

Speaking at the launch of Singapore Design Week at the National Design Centre, Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim said SFIC's strategies "will take advantage of Asia's growing demand for urban living solutions".

"Together, we will help businesses to design user-centric urban living solutions and to become more agile through continuous testing and prototyping. This will enable our design businesses to compete in the region and beyond."

Singapore Design Week, which runs until March 18, is a celebration of all things design, with events such as exhibitions and talks.

Last year's festival drew over 60,000 people.

BUSINESS & FINANCE