The BFM Board of Directors set as a main objective this year, to improve and enhance our export services and support to member companies. And in just a few months, the BFM has developed an ‘Export Portal’ which directs companies to dozens of sources for information, from country profiles to help with goods classification, import and export duties etc. There is also a link to a web site that contains over 200,000 furniture stores worldwide including the top 100 USA stores by sales. The BFM already has an established presence in Russia and is now developing contacts in France and in China (with a visit in the summer by MD, Jackie Bazeley, to see Chinese buyers) and it will not stop there. Several discussions with the UKTI have also led to additional funding for more overseas exhibitions.
Companies obviously want to know the best countries for them to export to and market data is important. An example of the data available to BFM members is shown below. It relates to upholstered seats with wooden frames. This shows our main export markets by value and surprisingly, Switzerland is one of them, however, a further analysis shows that the volume exported was relatively low and that the seats exported were of very high value. The BFM is able to calculate comparative costs of the products exported by countries around the world – that is the factory gate price together with transport to the port. We can do this for imports too right up to the UK port and another graph shows in value terms the main countries that import to the UK. Of those shown, the cost of production and transport to the UK is lowest in Romania.
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