PANELS & FURNITURE ASIA • Issue 3 • May / June 2018 43 John Chan, regional d i r e c t o r o f t h e American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) has announced details of the 23 rd Southeast Asia & Greater China Convention in Xi’an, cap i ta l o f Shaanx i province, China on 21 st and 22 nd June 2018 at the Westin Hotel, Xi’an. X i’an is often called the birthplace of China’s civilisation as it was the home of 13 imperial dynasties. It is famous for the terracotta warriors, an international symbol of China’s history and sits at the start of the Silk Road. Situated in central China, Xi’an is the capital city of Shaanxi province and was chosen to host the 2018 AHEC Conventionnot only becauseof its unique history and culture, but also for the potential economic and wood industry development opportunities in the city. Today the number of furniture enterprises in Shaanxi numbers 3,000, mainly in Xi'an. In the first half of 2017, the total profit of the furniture manufacturing industry was around five billion yuan, with a year-on-year increase of 18 per cent. Additionally, growth in the residential housingmarket will bring new opportunities for the furniture manufacturing industry. China is the largest single market for American hardwood exports. The growth of exports to Greater China has been led by Mainland China's strong performance, with hardwood exports reaching US$2 billion, an increase of 29 per cent in 2017, accounting for over 52 per cent of all global exporting value. The Convention programme will promote 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 300 delegates and over 30 AHEC hardwood exporting members are expected to attend. A mini-trade show will provide an invaluable platform for AHEC members to network with local traders, distributors, manufacturers, architects and interior designers and contractors. The convention programme on June 22 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 on June 21 will cover 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. ℗ SHOW PREVIEW Xi’an Bell Tower. Image: Lin Qiang on Unsplash.