American Hardwood Southeast Asia Supplement 2018

20 AMERICAN HARDWOOD Southeast Asia Supplement 2018 Xi’an Bell Tower. Image: Lin Qiang on Unsplash. i’an is often called the birthplace of China’s civilisation as it was the birthplace of 13 imperial dynasties. It is most famous for its terracotta warriors, an international symbol of China’s history and sits at the start of the ancient Silk Road. Situated in central China, Xi’an is the capital city of the Shaanxi province. It is the centre of the province’s politics, economy and culture, and ranked the 33 rd most competitive city in China in 2016 according to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Xi’an was designated as a national hub in MOFCOM’s development plan (2015-2020) of distributive trade and logistics. Xi’an International Trade&Logistics Park, enjoying geographical advantage and transportation convenience, is the largest comprehensive logistics park in western China and has the largest industrial sector in Shaanxi. Total industrial output amounted to RMB435 billion ($68.7 billion) in 2015, led by equipmentmanufacturing, agricultural products processing and automobiles. The service sector is the most significant part of the Xi’an economy, accounting for 60% of the GDP in 2015 with tourism a pillar business of the city’s service industry. The growing economy of Xi’an supports the development of a software industry of which the city is a pioneer. The software parkwithin the Xi’an Hi-Tech Industries Development Zone (XDZ) has attracted over 1,085 corporations. With a large pool of human resources from the 100 universities in the area, Xi’an’s software sector recruits around 3,000 computer graduates every year. Today the number of furniture enterprises in Shaanxi numbers 3,000, mainly in Xi’an. In the first half of 2017, the furniture manufacturing industry showed a year- on-year increase of 18%. Additionally, growth in the residential housing market will bring new opportunities for the furniture manufacturing industry. The Convention programme promotes the design and application of U.S. hardwoods for the consumer market (e.g. furniture, wooden doors, flooring and cabinet work) while addressing environmental concerns by introducing sustainable American hardwoods to furniture manufacturers, architects, interior designers, engineers and real estate developers from China, Southeast Asia and overseas. The Convention enjoys the support of the Shaanxi Furniture Association and Xian Furniture Association as support organisers in addition to over 20 furniture associations and interior designers associations and Institute of Architects supporting the event. Over 400 delegates and over 50 AHEC hardwood exporting members are attending. A mini- trade show provides an invaluable platform for AHEC members to network with local traders, distributors, manufacturers, architects and interior designers and contractors. The convention programme features six keynote speakers to deliver keynote presentations on “Wood and Environment”, “American Hardwood Exports to China”, “The U.S. Hardwood Resources and Sustainability”, “Interior Design Application of American Hardwood”, “New Technologies and Design Potentials with American Hardwood”, “Introduction to U.S. Hardwood Lumber Grading”. The Market Panel Session covers the development of the furniture and timber trade industry of Shaanxi, Taiwan and four SEA markets with an update on the increasing demand in the years to come. AHEC ’ s 23 rd Southeas t As i a & Greater Ch i na Convent i on i s be i ng he l d i n Xi ’ an , capital of Shaanxi Province, China, from 21 – 22 June 2018. By John Chan