DRIVEN by surging demand from European and South American buyers, Myanmar’s leading manufacturer and exporter of rattan, bamboo and lacquerware products plans to ramp up production and sales in the next few months, according to Stellabeth Swezin Le, director of business development at Bella Interiors Co.
“At this point, our main markets are Europe and the United States. We are also very strong in Asia and Australia while Scandinavia and South American markets are also on our radar,” she said in an interview during the five-day trade fair Ambiente19 in Frankfurt, Germany’s commercial hub, last week.
She said the firm’s presence at international trade fairs would help it expand into overseas markets.
The United Kingdom and Germany are the company’s major export destinations. Others include Spain, Sweden, Norway and Denmark.
At Ambiente19, the firm attracted a lot of interest from South American buyers, mainly from Brazil.
“While we are looking to the West for new markets, we will also continue to serve our Asian buyers who have trusted us for decades,” she said.
“We are seeing surging demand from South Korea and some Southeast Asian countries, including Thailand and Vietnam. For one thing, our exports to Thailand have been rising for a few years.”
Bella Interiors currently enjoys an average growth of 10 per cent annually. It hopes to make more than US$2 million (Bt62 million) yearly in handicraft sales over the next three years, she said.
“We mainly focus on sales of well-crafted Burmese rattan ware and bamboo accessories to both domestic and international clients. Our product line ranges from household ware, office supplements, hotel products and kitchenware to other embellishments,” she said.
Bella Interiors is a subsidiary of Beautiful Island Co, established by her father Myint Oo in 1994 to produce and export a spectrum of crafted rattan furniture and accessories to the international community, The firm’s first international trading partner was a client from the Netherlands, and thereafter its portfolio has expanded to more than 20 countries around the world.
The head office and the two main factories are located in the south of Yangon. It also has four other production sites in other parts of the country. The firm has more than 150 employees in Yangon in addition to a strong workforce of more than 1,000 nationwide.
“The majority of our sourcing comes from the Tanintharyi and Sagaing regions as well as from Chin and Kachin states. We are now focusing on new lines of products, including the Stella Collections. We will strive to double our export volume, investing more in manufacturing and capacity building of our staff,” she said.
The executive considers production, marketing and customer-care services the three core areas for sustainable growth. She also stressed the importance of innovation and design concepts in its overseas business expansion.
“We have been investing in international trade fairs to showcase our innovative products to the global players. It is costly but our return of investment is truly satisfactory,” she said.