Posted at Viet Nam News on December, 14 2011 09:35:36
HCM CITY — South Korean companies in the interior design sector met with their Vietnamese counterparts yesterday in HCM City to discuss measures on how to increase exports in the industry.
Co-organised by the ASEAN – KOREA Centre and Viet Nam Trade Promotion Agency, the seminar discussed effective design development.
A Ra Cho, CEO of Koon Design Co, said that, apart from price competition, current interior products needed more interesting designs to meet the diverse demands of customers.
“Unique designs will increase the added value of products, and help to give a competitive edge to companies,” she said.
To develop appropriate design strategies, companies should identify their targeted customers.
She said her company wanted to develop partnerships with Vietnamese companies or use local firms as outsourcers.
Hong Kyu Joo, CEO of Joo Design Co, said exporters should be aware of new trends in interior design by reading magazines and attending large exhibitions in the world, such as iSaloni, Home Furnishing Trade Show in Italy, IMM International Furnishings Fair in Germany and Maison & Objet Home Furnishing Trade Show in France.
He also recommended that they keep abreast of industry trends by reading internet sources.
Vietnamese businesses can attend two exhibitions in South Korea, Seoul Living Design Fair and KOFURN, to seek a more thorough understanding of customers’ tastes and demands.
Current trends in Korea are nature-inspired patterns and eco-friendly materials (with warm, natural colours), and a minimalist style with enhanced function and reduced decoration. Modern technology is mixed with nature-friendly materials to create novel designs.
Ki Bong Moon, the ASEAN-KOREA centre’s trade and investment manager, said that three years ago, Korea imported interior-design products mostly from China, but now has shifted attention to Viet Nam as a replacement for China because of its “advantages such as good quality of wood material, and a combination of manual and automated techniques for a unique identity of products.”
He said Vietnamese exporters should pay more attention to environmental regulations, origin of woods and consumer health-protection issues, adding that environmentally friendly products were favoured by consumers.
Vietnamese businesses should also build products that take into consideration the winter temperatures in Korea, which can drop below 15 Centrigrade and be damaging to wooden products.
Small-sized products are suitable for Korean consumers because most people live in spaces of about 100 sq.metres.
The ASEAN-KOREA Centre has held many meetings and seminars to strengthen cooperation between Korea and ASEAN countries, including Viet Nam, in the economic, cultural and tourism sector.
Besides the seminar, 13 Korean companies and Vietnamese firms met on the occasion to seek partners and cooperation opportunities.
Ta Hoang Linh, deputy head of the Viet Nam Trade Promotion Agency, said Vietnamese businesses should promote exports in Korea, a potential market with a great demand for interior products.
In the past five years, interior furniture has been one of the top 10 items with high export turnover in Viet Nam, achieving a turnover of US$3.5 billion in the first 11 months of this year. — VNS