The amount of Italian furnishings entering China has nearly doubled in the past year, reports the Italian Trade Agency ICE. Italian interiors and furnishings trade show Salone del Mobile, which introduced its Chinese iteration in Shanghai in 2016 and returns for its third show this fall, may be a driving factor.
“China has become an increasingly central market in the export strategies of Italian furnishing companies and this is borne out by the export results for 2017, which closed up 36.5 percent,” explained Emanuele Orsini, president of FederlegnoArredo and Federlegno Arredo Eventi, a Milan-based industrial association in the furniture sector.
Exports of Italian furniture to China jumped 42 percent last year—a value of $519 million USD, according to the ICE Italian Trade Agency. That percentage increased another 3 percent, or $152 million USD, in the first quarter of 2018.
“It is certainly an impressive figure, and the Chinese market is the world leader in terms of opportunity,” said Amedeo Scarpa, director of the ICE office in Beijing and coordinator of the ICE office network in the People’s Republic of China. “It testifies to a strong, growing interest in the Italian lifestyle. This is why the MISE [Italian Ministry for Economic Development] has increased the public budget for ICE Made in Italy promotional activities in China fivefold. The results are clear to see: a 22 percent rise in total exports from Italy to China in 2017.”
In light of the growing appeal of Italian goods in China, Salone del Mobile returns to Shanghai next month. The show will introduce 119 Italian brands to the Chinese market and hew to the theme of “Made in Italy.” Among the brands participating in the show are Flexform, B&B Italia, Etro Home Interiors, Dada, Scavolini, Zanotta, Richard Ginori, MisuraEmme, and Molteni & C. Prior iterations of the Shanghai fair have drawn some 40,000 attendees.
“Shanghai is a fundamental strand in the internationalization process the Salone del Mobile.Milano has undertaken over the last few years geared to bringing prime Italian manufacturing to the Chinese market,” says Claudio Luti, president of the Salone del Mobile. “Our objective is to strengthen the links between our two cultures, both with a wealth of history and experience behind them, and both keen to communicate the quality, originality and creativity of Italian furnishing to further build on Made in Italy’s strong powers of attraction.”
The organizers announced the lineup for the show at a September conference in Shanghai titled “Red Night,” which was attended by more than 400 architects and interior designers.
“Since the beginning, we fully supported the Salone del Mobile.Milano in Shanghai and I’m sure that this third edition will be even more successful than the previous ones,” says Ettore Sequi, Italian ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, of the partnership. “Nowadays, the Chinese market is facing enormous changes: Quality, innovation and beauty are the key factors of this transformation. Italian brands are ideal partners in this new phase, thanks to the extraordinarily high quality of Italian design, furnishing and innovation—not to mention the world-renowned beauty of the Italian products.”
Salone del Mobile Shanghai runs November 22 to 24 at the Shanghai Exhibition Center.