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Wiles ... bid to boost hardwood market.

Ahec in bid to open up Mena hardwood market

DUBAI, January 19, 2016

The American Hardwood Export Council (Ahec) plans to launch collaborations, seminars, workshops and sustainable design initiatives across the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) to open up new market opportunities for American hardwoods in 2016.

Roderick Wiles, Ahec director for Africa, Middle East, South Asia and Oceania, said the major elements of Ahec’s campaign will involve both established and emerging markets in the Mena region.

The Mena design market is expected to grow by about six per cent annually to reach $147.5 billion by 2019, according to the Mena Design Outlook report.

With this in mind, Ahec remains committed to its involvement with the major design events in the region such as the Commercial Interior Design Awards, Dubai Design Week, Design Ras Al Khor (DRAK), and Downtown Design, amongst others.

In terms of the timber trade, key activities for the year include Ahec’s participation at Furnex in Cairo (Egypt), Timber in Construction Expo (Yapi Ahsap Fuari) in Istanbul (Turkey) and the Dubai WoodShow.

“Collaborative installations have proven to be a highly effective way of stimulating interest from designers and the design media. At the same time, they help to serve as a means of demonstrating the beauty of widely-available and yet under-utilised American hardwood species. Building on our LCA (life cycle assessment) modelling data, we plan to calculate and communicate the light environmental footprint of American hardwoods used in all installations in a bid to demonstrate the true sustainability of the material,” said Wiles.

“Ahec runs one of the most widely recognised wood promotion campaigns in the world and it makes perfect sense for us to continue our support for events that we have been involved with whilst also exploring new avenues and opportunities to promote American hardwoods.”

Through 2016, Ahec will also focus its strategy in the Mena region on education aimed at all elements of the ‘timber chain’, whether it is specifiers (architects and interior designers), end users (furniture and joinery manufacturers) or importers and distributors.

Ahec intends to conduct seminars across the region, highlighting positive developments such as the growing acceptance of thermally modified US hardwoods, which can be used in exterior applications, such as decking and cladding and the development in engineered wood solutions, particularly cross-laminated timber (CLT), which represent an exciting potential for American hardwoods and particularly for American tulipwood given its high strength-to-weight ratio.

“With an industry goal to increase sales of US hardwoods, Ahec is focused on developing existing markets and finding new markets and applications for American hardwoods,” said Wiles.

“Our aim is to enable the American hardwood industry to be proactive rather than reactive by identifying markets and providing data to help develop these markets. It is through the strong connections made with architects and designers in the region - particularly in Dubai - that awareness of both Ahec itself and American hardwoods has been raised considerably in recent years. As a result, it has become increasingly common for architects and interior designers who are looking to specify American hardwoods to come to Ahec for advice,” concluded Wiles. – TradeArabia News Service

Tags: Ahec | American hardwood |

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