Ukraine exported furniture worth almost $1 billion in January-November 2021, which is 43% more than in the same period last year, Oksana Donska, the head of the cluster platform of the Ukrainian Association of Furniture Manufacturers.
“The Ukrainian furniture industry exported furniture for almost $1 billion, which is 43% more than in the same period last year. Compared to previous periods, this is an absolute record, and in comparison with neighboring Poland, with the same forest resources and human capital, this is 14 times less,” Donska said at a press conference in Kyiv.
In her opinion, in order to increase the production and export of furniture, Ukraine, first of all, needs a transparent and stable market for raw materials, clustering (association of furniture makers based on industrial parks), as well as a trilateral partnership of business, education and authorities in personnel training.
According to Donska, within the framework of the strategy being developed, Ukrainian furniture makers set a task to enter the top 10 furniture exporters in the next 10 years.
“Today the leader is China, which exports furniture dozens of times more than Germany, which ranks second, Poland is third. That is, we want to catch up with Poland and Germany, exporting furniture for at least $14 billion. Today, Ukraine exports furniture to 199 countries of the world, and more than half goes to Germany and Poland, but for re-export. And today we have every opportunity to enter the direct markets for the sale of our products,” the expert said.
According to her, the amount of foreign investments in the furniture industry over the past 5-8 years has exceeded EUR1 billion.
“Ukraine has all the prospects in the next 10 years to increase it by 5 times. Today Belgium, Austria, Canada, Denmark, the United States, France have already invested in the furniture industry – that is, the world leaders trust us and open their enterprises,” the expert noted.
According to President of the Ukrainian Association of Furniture Manufacturers Volodymyr Patis, attracting investments will allow to create an additional 200,000 jobs during this time.
“In the furniture industry, the quality of the workplace is changing a lot: there is a rethinking, automation, and today workers have a fairly high salary, which already competes with salaries in Poland,” he said.