KATHMANDU, July 9: Nepal imports Rs 18 billion worth of furniture and furnishing products annually, according to Nepal Furniture and Furnishing Association.
The market of furniture and furnishing products in Nepal is worth around Rs 30 billion annually and 60 percent of the demand is fulfilled through imports, officials of the association say.
Speaking at a press meet organized by the association to inform the media about the 6th edition of Furnex Furniture and Furnishing Expo in Kathmandu on Sunday, Rajesh Kumar Agrawal, president of the association, said there is a demand for Rs 18 billion worth of furniture and Rs 12 billion worth of furnishing products like drapes and carpets in Nepal annually.
The expo is being held in Kathmandu between August 30 and September 3.
According to Agrawal, Nepal primarily imports such products from its two neighboring countries – China and India and apart from these countries, the country also imports furniture and furnishing products from other nations like Turkey, Italy, and Jordan among others.
According to Agrawal, a lion's share of furniture and furnishing products come to Nepal from India and China. “Most of the Nepali consumers buy furniture products for their daily use rather for decorative or aesthetic use,” he said, adding that demand for furniture imported from China is increasing recent years as they are comparatively cheaper.
Officials of the association say that Nepalis are gradually developing a taste for imported furniture as they come in attractive designs and have finer finishing. “It is one of the reasons why demand for furniture and furnishing products from China is rising,” they added.
Agrawal also attributes growing imports of furniture to inadequate production of such products in Nepal. “The production of furniture in Nepal is not enough to meet the country's demand. And this is mainly due to lack of timber and unavailability of skilled workforce,” he said, adding: “It is hard to retain skilled workforce as youths are finding better opportunities in foreign countries.”
He further added that furniture imports can be reduced if the government provides sufficient timber to furniture producers and arrangers required workforce.
The expo being, which will be organized at Bhrikuti Mandap Exhibition Hall, will give special emphasis to home décor, according to the association. It will feature wide variety of furniture and furnishing products that can be used in both homes and offices.
“The event will not only inform visitors about the different varieties of furniture and furnishing products, it will give make them aware on use of furniture products and promote Nepali furniture and furnishing products,” the association said in a statement.