Uzbekistan can hardly be called a land of forests. That said, its furniture industry obviously ranks among the fastest growing today.
Furniture production is currently booming across the country, showing a 15-20 percent annual growth. The furniture section of the 20-year-old catalogue Yellow Pages Uzbekistan is filled with ads on sales of imported storage cabinets, upholstered furniture sets, kitchen items. The products were offered by European companies. There is no line on selling domestic furniture. Some 7-8 years ago, the domestic market of Uzbekistan consisted of imported products by 65-70%, not mentioning the matter of two decades.
Today, almost two-thirds of the local market is occupied by products of local manufacturers. The rapid development of the Uzbek furniture industry has been promoted by the growing demand of the population and economic entities for quality furniture, as well as by recent voluminous investments in the country’s economy. Besides, the development of capital construction has conditioned the rapid development of the wood processing industry with its 25 percent growth index. The scale of furniture production has been increasing accordingly.
By 2001, the furniture and wood products were manufactured chiefly by Uzbekmebel and Fayz companies. They accounted for over 90% of production. Uzbekmebel was liquidated with the adoption of a decree on de-monopolization of the Cabinet of Ministers in 2001. Big specialized furniture enterprises were transferred under the authority of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, regions and Tashkent city.
Analysts have been pointing out to a steady increase in furniture production. For instance, the furniture manufacture was estimated at 28.1 billion soums in 2003. In 2013, the index amounted to 392.1 billion soums with an increase of 14 times. Today, nearly 1,500 legal entities are engaged in the furniture manufacture. Most of them are small businesses. Tashkent city, Tashkent, Fergana, Namangan and Kashkadarya regions have been the sector’s leaders. These regions account for 80% of all products. Intensified furniture production has been demonstrated by Jizzakh, Navoi and Surkhandarya regions, suggesting of the improving business climate.
Incentives and benefits with a focus on small businesses have contributed to the development of furniture production along with the increasing market capacity. For example, Uzbekistan abolished customs duties and taxes on imported timber since January 1, 2008. National programs on supplying furniture to educational and medical institutions have remarkably supported furniture manufacturers and expanded the furniture market. The significantly streamlined certification procedure is another reason behind the palpable increase in the volumes of furniture manufactured, experts believe.
The increase in furniture production volumes has been stimulating imports of equipment and tools (80%), fittings and accessories (90%), as well as raw materials. The government has provided favorable conditions for joint ventures in the form of tax benefits and preferences. Foreign suppliers of equipment, raw materials and accessories can import their products into Uzbekistan on preferential customs tariffs, and some types of equipment and machines are imported even at zero tariff.
It would be appropriate to position the state as not just a regulator, but as a major player that defines the demand for furniture products. The bulk of the furniture market is represented by local manufacturers. It is worth to mention the improving quality and competitiveness of the domestically improved furniture over the recent years. However, it would be a mistake to say that the imported furniture is not represented in the domestic market. One of the strong points of local manufacturers is that they can respond rapidly to the demands of the internal market.
Customers have been increasingly paying attention to the interior design with the development of the construction industry. Public institutions, business centers, residential houses, public places like supermarkets, salons, restaurants and cafes, medical complexes and gyms need design and style, so a customer can use all kinds of services and offers in the interior market. There is a tough competition in it, since professionals have been trying to keep up with the times and be aware of the latest trends in the struggle for a client.
Creating the furniture under the Aiko brand, the team of Autopromtechnology, ranging from designers to assembly specialists, thinks primarily about the customer’s choice. The company’s products have embodied a modern ergonomic design, ease, simplicity and comfort. The rattan furniture of Aiko has entered the Uzbek market owing to the achievements of high technologies, which allowed creation of highly effective, quality and natural material as a basis of wicker furniture. It is featured by flexibility and simplicity, being synonymous with good taste. It is produced in sets and as individual instances, making a place of leisure or work comfortable.
BEANBAG.UZ company has become the first manufacturer of frameless furniture for children and adults. The entire policy is built on comfort and relaxation. The use of innovative technologies, environmentally friendly and high-quality materials help to create more than 15 kinds of truly comfortable, easy and affordable designs of frameless furniture. They are pyramid-shape chairs, a soccer ball, pear chairs and more. They are perfect for any casual party, child's holiday, family celebration.
The range of Etiqod private enterprise is represented by tables, chairs, sofas, chests of drawers and accessories. High-quality furniture is made of firm wood by the European technology and on the Italian equipment. There is a choice of color painting and upholstery.
ORIENT-MEBEL Co.Ltd. specializes in the manufacture of premium-class doors, staircases and kitchen furniture. Pursuing a strategy of constant technological and technical development of the manufacture, the factory is operated by up-to-date equipment by leading machine tool companies. The production process involves more than 100 people. Every year the company invests heavily in the production growth and development.
Russian Woods offers design of sketches, their manufacture, delivery and installation. All products are made entirely of wood - walnut, ash, larch.
Zooko Stil Co. Ltd. operates under the Zooko Style brand and produces more than a hundred items of furniture products, which are highly demanded among the local population and abroad.
Several economic entities have been engaged in the introduction of modern technologies in woodworking and furniture manufactures, their upgrade, equipping, and prompt maintenance. EMAN Co.Ltd, for example, has been working in Uzbekistan for 10 years. The company supplies machines for the production of furniture and accessories, wood processing and other equipment produced by leading foreign companies. It is worth noting that its foreign partners aim at further enhancement of cooperation with furniture manufacturers in Uzbekistan.
Uniform buildings with twin apartments, furnished by scarce dull-looking and bulky storage cabinets, are the matter of the past. Today everyone wants to furnish his home with unique and original furniture. Walking through furniture stores and salons in search of a suitable closet or hall furniture set, the customers have been repeatedly facing an agonizing problem of choice. The range seems to be large, but ‘the cherished’ articles are seldom included in standard range of finished goods.
This suggests the need in new exclusive furniture, which would make homes cozier. With this in mind I entered the shop of private enterprise AL-KUDDUS MANUFACTURING, which specializes on wood products. As explained by local craftsmen, products of pine, larch, oak, walnut, ash and elm make the interior unique and enjoy great demand. Exclusive wood furniture looks expensive and imposing; it is suitable for both apartments and a country house. Strength, moisture resistance and durability are its main advantages.
The enterprise was established five years on the basis of the existing manufacture of wood furniture, doors and joinery. The luxury furniture is produced of wood of superior quality, which undergoes a full cycle of drying to achieve the certain moisture content in accordance with state standards. The masters work on high-precision machines that make any dream true.
Master Ibrokhim Abdullayev says: “If a master treats wood with care, if he invests his soul into it, the wood will never perish. It will start a new life with a human owner. Made by our carpenters, who can feel the wood, the furniture quickly gets accustomed to its owner, and turns into an heirloom that lasts for years.”
I saw stylish kitchens under the brand VIVA DELUX in one of the furniture stores. They are manufactured by VIVA VICTORIA company, a modern high-tech furniture enterprise. The latest Italian equipment and advanced technologies, qualified and experienced staff allowed taking a lead in the furniture market of Uzbekistan. The original design of custom-made furniture on exclusive projects is calculated to every detail. It is produced solely of environmentally friendly materials of high quality.
Is it possible to buy furniture without leaving home? The answer to the question is affirmative. The online store MEBEL.UZ is a young company, which focuses on the delivery of high-quality home and office furniture. The company has its own production facilities, and works directly with leading national and foreign manufacturers, which enables it to offer a large range of goods at low prices. The online catalogue is available around the clock. MEBEL.UZ offers its Tashkent customers the opportunity to buy furniture on credit. The company has developed a convenient lending program with partner banks.
... Let us return to the catalogue Yellow Pages Uzbekistan. The four pages of the last issue placed ads by domestic furniture manufacturers. Foreign suppliers can be counted on the fingers. This suggests that the domestically produced furniture does not yield to foreign counterparts in design, durability and quality. The demand for the furniture made in Uzbekistan has been growing, which is the best proof of the industry’s evolvement. This means that a tree, according to Ibrokhim Abdullayev, was treated with care.