AHEC regional director John Chan announced Qingdao as the venue for its 2017 convention.
Qingdao is a city in eastern Shandong Province on the east coast of China, the largest in its province, administered at the sub-provincial level.
As a central hub for commerce, transportation, shipping and logistics, manufacturing and design, Qingdao has also been the venue for The International Furniture and Woodworking Machinery show for the last 13 years, annually in May.
The Shandong furniture industry ranks fourth, after Guangdong, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang in terms of total production and exports. The number of furniture factories in Shandong in 2015 was 4,500 with around 600,000 employed. Among these were 544 registered government enterprises with revenue valued at $13.9 billion. The furniture industry has grown over 60% with average growth rate in the past five years over 12%.
However the furniture industry has been facing challenges and changes – namely the reform of the furniture industry to fit China’s carbon emission goals as well as the need for high quality, fashionable and locally-designed furniture to meet international and domestic demand.
“This demands high quality imported timber materials which consequently creates export opportunities for American hardwood in various grades,” commented AHEC regional director John Chan, on the choice for its Greater China Convention.
Shandong’s population in 2015 numbered 98.5 million with a GDP growth of 8%. Recent data shows Qingdao has a population of nine million with an urban population of 6.1 million lying across the Shandong Peninsula. Qingdao was named as among China’s top 10 cities and in 2009 was named China’s most liveable city by the Chinese Institute of City Competitiveness. In 2016 the city ranked 79th in the Global Financial Center Index.
China is the number one global market for American hardwood lumber and takes over 50% of all exports from the U.S. hardwood lumber industry. Many American exporters and Chinese delegates are expected to attend the event at the Westin Qingdao Hotel on 22 to 23 June 2017.
Cover photo: AHEC staff and members with Chinese delegates at the 2015 Greater China Convention in Nanning.