Furniture Industries of Bangladesh has been developed from cottage based industry at first. In the beginning of 90’s, furniture industries in Bangladesh were transformed from cottage based industry to mechanized furniture industry. Then, furniture manufacturing business began to grow with modern machinery, contemporary & innovative designs and use of various materials. The major types of furniture are produced from Wood, Processed wood, Engineering wood, Plywood, Melamine Faced Chipboard (MFC), Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF), Mild Steel and Stainless Steel.
Right now, Bangladeshi Furniture Company is manufacturing wide varieties of good quality as well as world class furniture for home and abroad. Now-a-days, Bangladeshi people are choosing local made furniture instead of imported furniture due to world class quality and to avoid payment of high duty. The export of Bangladeshi furniture had been started from 1995-1996. Furniture manufacturing sector is a labor intensive sector and labor cost is very low in Bangladesh compared to other countries. Due to low cost of manpower in Bangladesh, furniture of Bangladesh has become competitive in the world market. Therefore, there is a good prospect in export of Bangladeshi furniture in future like garments. Some Bangladeshi Furniture companies are fully equipped with modern machinery (complete production line, UV Lacquering line etc) and skilled labor to export world class furniture from now onward.
At present, two related associations BFEA and BFIOA (Bangladesh Furniture Export Association and Bangladesh Furniture Industries Owners Association) are aggressively working on materializing the prospect of this sector.
Bangladesh Furniture Export Association (BFEA) has about 12 active members. Among them, Partex Furniture, Hatil Furniture & Akhtar Furnishers are the most valued members of BFEA. The government of Bangladesh has declared the furniture sector as a “Thrust Sector”.
Currently, about 41,560 enterprises (Furniture Company) and near about two Millions skilled and semi-skilled work forces (labor) are engaged in this sector. About 50-60% raw materials and machinery of furniture sector are imported from different countries like Germany, Italy, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, and China. Among the all imported raw materials, timber, lacquer/coating materials, hardware & accessories are major. This furniture sector has some remarkable problems also such as high import duties on sofa fabrics, hardware & accessories and finishing materials, shortage of power etc.
Scarcity of skilled manpower for handling of modern machinery & equipments is limiting the potential of growth of this sector that can be minimized through establishing technical training schools with effective course curriculum. Government of Bangladesh can play an important role for it in parallel with private institutions
Finally, it can be said that furniture industries of Bangladesh is one of the promising sector now-a-days and every stake holders should play their role accordingly for the betterment of this sector.
Hope it would be a worthy one export business sector in Bangladesh in future.