On October 31, there was a grand celebration of the 17th anniversary of the Ukrainian Association of Furniture Manufacturers, which can undoubtedly be called the main event of the fall for all members of the association.
Celebration was attended by 153 people, including 94 representatives of UAFM member companies. The UAFM partners and friends also decided to congratulate on the anniversary – representatives of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine, the Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the United Nations Development Program, the Swiss Embassy, the Export Promotion Office, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Council of the Business Ombudsman, the Union of Ukrainians Entrepreneurs, the EUCON Legal Group, as well as representatives of the media community.
The First Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine, Minister of Economic Development and Trade, and Stepan Ivanovich Kubiv visited the festival to congratulate the furniture on the 17th anniversary of the celebration. It was Stepan Ivanovich who encouraged representatives of the association to participate in the recent government trade mission to Israel, which proved to be effective for the furniture industry. The vice-premier furniture makers, united by UAFM, made it clear that they would continue to want to have their number first in their team. In response, he was reassured that he would respond to concrete actions and decisions on urgent requests of furnituremakers.
The topic of the official part of the event was the question: “And is there a furniture industry in Ukraine?” In fact – yes, it exists, but legally, the furniture industry is part of the woodworking industry, which in turn is part of the mining industry. Speech by Volodymyr Patios, President of UAFM, disclosed to all present the current state of development of the furniture industry, achievements and challenges facing it. According to the organization CSIL, Ukraine ranks 52nd in the global volume of furniture production and 41st place in terms of their exports. The index of furniture production is 18.7% compared to 2.4% – the industrial production index in general (2017). The furniture industry in Ukraine is export-oriented, which is evidenced by export-import of furniture – 84-16%, respectively. Ukrainian furniture provides more than 50,000 jobs for more than 5,000 enterprises. Ukrainian furniture is exported to 90 countries of the world. However, along with positive trends in the industry, furniture makers also face the constraints that exist for them in today’s environment.
Therefore, during the celebration a panel discussion “Three main challenges for the furniture industry in Ukraine” was held with the participation of Mariana Kaganjak, Head of the Export Promotion Office in Ukraine, Olga Ivanchenko, Project Coordinator of the EBRD SME Financing and Development Department in Ukraine, which leads the initiative on the development of the furniture sector within the framework of EU4Business, Maxim Nefyodov, First Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine, Mykola Viknianskyi, owner of the company ThermoPal LLC, Pavlo Pysnogo, owner of the LLC DALET BROK and Vladimir Patisa, President of the Ukrainian Association of Furniture. During the discussion, the participants discussed the importance of recognizing the furniture industry by the state, the need to support the export of furniture, as well as the importance of enhancing the prestige of specialized branch professions. The representatives of business and government reached a consensus and unanimous opinion that without the aspirations and actions of the business should not rely on success, and therefore the importance of the association of furniture makers in the business community is to jointly solve the problem issues and get rid of the barriers that are on the way. the development of each individual furniture, and the industry as a whole.
After the panel discussion, the traditional reception of new members to the UAM has taken place, which this time was a record number – 28 companies! It is worth noting that almost all large exporting companies are already members of the UAFM, and the association itself is the voice of the furniture industry, and besides the furniture manufacturers it also brings together other participants in the value chain: suppliers of components, service providers and retailers.
There is still a lot of work ahead and new victories, so we end up on this, and we continue to go on: “Success is not final, the failures are not deadly, the only value is the courage to go on further …” (Winston Churchill).