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How Ukrainian furniture manufacturers enter the Danish market

On March 23, 2021, the Ukrainian Furniture Association in partnership with the Embassy of Ukraine in the Kingdom of Denmark and the Council of Exporters and Investors at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine held an online webinar “Export to Denmark”.

They discussed the market prospects for Ukrainian furniture manufacturers to start exporting to Denmark, where to look for partners, as well as attracting investment in the Ukrainian furniture industry.

Ambassador of Ukraine to the Kingdom of Denmark Mykhailo Vydoynyk said that in 2020 Ukraine exported furniture worth almost $ 40 million to Denmark. This is one-fifth of total exports. The growth for the year was + 23%.

Statistics show that due to quarantine restrictions and the inability to travel, the country’s residents spent money on furniture, clothes and other household items last year. The same trend is observed now.

It is important to remember that despite the small domestic market (Denmark’s population is 5.8 million), Danish businessmen are active in foreign markets. They sell furniture all over the world. Therefore, such cooperation opens up great opportunities for Ukrainian producers.

In Denmark – high requirements for product quality and business communication (communication in English is required). Mr Ambassador shared the peculiarities of cooperation with the Danes. He said that first of all, Danish companies pay attention to the website when looking for partners. The resource must be up-to-date and have a full English version.

The site must contain:

● product catalog,

● company information,

● bank details,

● geographical location,

● information about the owners,

● information on available capacity, number of employees, equipment,

● a list of foreign countries you work with,

● information about the types of raw materials and materials you work with (MDF, plywood, wood),

● contacts from the sales department (the person who knows English and can answer questions).

“The Danes are planning ahead, for 3-5 years, so when looking for partners, they expect that this will be stable long-term cooperation. They are reliable and solvent partners,” the diplomat stressed.

The embassy is ready to help Ukrainian furniture makers find partners in Denmark, and Danish companies to find companies in Ukraine. If Ukrainian manufacturers want to enter the Danish market, you can send a presentation of your company, and offer it in English to the e-mail address of the embassy. It will be sent to local companies and associations.

You can also contact the Council of Exporters and Investors at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine. Then the request will be sent to all embassies in the world.

Mr Mykhailo Vydoynyk said that with the participation of the Honorary Consul of Ukraine in the Kingdom of Denmark Morten Munk, the Ukrainian-Danish Chamber of Commerce has started working to help find partners. In addition, the Honorary Consulate in Outrup is ready to provide support.

The Ambassador of the Kingdom of Denmark to Ukraine Ole Mikkelsen stressed that relations between states also include relations between people and business contacts. About 15,000 Ukrainians live in Denmark. About 300 Danish companies operate on the Ukrainian market.

Furniture is a significant competitor in Danish-Ukrainian commercial relations. And one of the largest investors in Denmark in Ukraine is investors in the furniture industry.

It was recently announced that the Danish furniture manufacturer Hjort Knudsen is going to invest 11 million euros in a company for the production of designer furniture in Rivne.

Mr Ambassador urged those who want to do business in Denmark to have no doubts and contact the embassy.

Oksana Donska, Board Member of Ukrainian Association of Furniture Manufacturers, CEO exhibition FUBE claim presented furniture industry of Ukraine.

She said that the Ukrainian furniture industry is growing very fast. Over the past 5 years, exports are growing by 13, 5% annually. Ukraine exports to 119 countries. More than half of exports go to Poland, Germany and Denmark. Ukraine is a good source of raw materials, labor and technology. Ukrainian manufacturers create competitive products.

“We are strong in the mass market segment. We create products for DIY-networks, for large chain furniture stores, also strong in the production of luxury furniture. We are proud that Ukrainian furniture is available at Facebook’s main office in London, the Senate of the Republic of Uzbekistan, such international hotel chains as Hilton, Radisson Blu, palaces and private residences,” said Ms Donska.

Ukrainian furniture is sold in large chains – Ikea, Auchan, JYSK, Praktiker, METRO, Epicenter. Also on such online trading platforms as Amazon, eBay, Wayfair, Alibaba, Rozetka.

The Ukrainian Furniture Manufacturers Association includes 257 companies, which together form more than 60% of the Ukrainian furniture market. The annual turnover of UAFM member companies is $ 1.7 billion. The Association includes manufacturers, suppliers, designers and retailers.

She also spoke about the exhibition Furniture of Ukraine Business Expo, which will take place on June 15-17, 2021 online and offline. Today, 1,700 business visitors from 52 countries have already registered for the exhibition.

The advantages of the exhibition are that

– it will gather many large furniture manufacturers in one place,

– there will be contacts with owners and managers of enterprises,

– web platform and mobile application will work,

– Foreign buyers can take advantage of the Hosted Buyer Program, which is implemented with the support of the American people, provided through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under the Competitive Economy of Ukraine.

Project-manager of the Ukrainian-Danish Chamber of Commerce Antonina Les Müller spoke about the main purpose of the chamber – to become the key to solving important business problems in an unfamiliar Danish market.

“Denmark has high standards of quality and furniture production. The furniture industry is highly developed and technological. Interior, design, furniture, light are cult words in Denmark, which creates high competition,” she said.

The Chamber of Commerce will help find partners to place orders and purchase finished products, will provide informational, analytical, legal, expert support. Will hold events to spread knowledge about culture and business traditions in Denmark.

Stig Leander, founder and CEO of Leander A / S, which exports its products to 40 countries and has been producing furniture at the plant in Slavuta in the Khmelnytsky region for a year, gave advice for those who want to work in the Danish market. The key is to communicate in English and knowledge and understanding of the requirements for the quality of furniture.

Steen Laursen, CEO of Hjort Knudsen Ukraine, shared the company’s success.

“We invest a lot in Ukraine. Our production has tripled in the last four years,” he said.

In addition, the company trains its employees in production standards, invests in their professional development. In this way, he wants workers to stay in Ukraine and not go abroad.

Lesia Ignatik-Eriksen, CEO of NordicUkraineinvest and Director of the Scandinavian Country Office, advised manufacturers to request a specific partner in Denmark for the list of certificates he requires. In general, the standards are the same as in the whole European Union, but there may be nuances in each case.

Also, before signing the contract, she noted, it is necessary to make a sample and a card of the product, in which you need to clearly record the criteria for acceptance of products. It is behind them that production should be established.

Honorary Consul of Ukraine in the Kingdom of Denmark Morten Munch stressed the importance of communication and business transparency.

So, if you want to export furniture to Denmark, it’s worth it

  1. to study the requirements for quality standards of furniture and production in Denmark,
  2. have a website and presentations in English,
  3. follow the rules of business communication with Danish partners,
  4. know English.

Diplomatic institutions and private consulting companies are open to cooperation with Ukrainian manufacturers

Presentation FUBE-2021

Ukraine – on its way towards Europe!

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