From March 15 to 17, three wood processing companies from Latvia – ‘Baibiņa’ SIA, ‘Ingrid D’ AS and ‘ImpExWod’ SIA – are participating in the woodworking fair ‘Dubai Woodshow’ in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This is the first time for Latvia to take part in the event. The expectations are high as the woodworking industry in the Middle East is not yet developed, therefore there is great demand for the products of European and American companies.
The Dubai Woodshow is the 17th annual fair. It is considered to be one of the most important events in the woodworking industry in the region. It is visited by industry professionals and equipment manufacturers from more than 60 countries every year, and there are around 70 companies that take part with their own stands. The participation of all three Latvian companies in this fair will be their debut in the Middle East region, although they have experience in other export markets.
’’Latvia participates in the Dubai Woodshow for the first time, although our woodworking companies have previously presented their products at other exhibitions in the region. The three companies represented in our stand are not the only ones going to Dubai, there are also many other representatives of the woodworking industry, who are visiting the fair. In any case, there is a great interest in this area and the opportunities for cooperation in Dubai - the Gulf countries cannot be proud of vast forests, therefore woodworking materials are in high demand there and offer great opportunities for European, American and Chinese companies. Admittedly, in the current geopolitical conditions it is difficult to predict how ready the region's entrepreneurs will be to start new cooperation, but Latvia has good potential, thus we hope for a good result,” says Toms Sudrabs, Project Manager of the Export Promotion Division of the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia (LIAA).
‘Ingrid D’ AS is the largest manufacturer of wooden handles for tools in the Baltics, exporting its products to Germany, Poland, France, Lithuania, Estonia and Ireland. "It is very important for Latvia to be represented where excellent products and technologies meet. Latvia's economy and level of prosperity are largely proportional to export success. Therefore, every product produced in Latvia must find a market and an application with maximum added value. The woodworking industry plays an important role in the Latvian economy. Woodworking products with high added value and niche or unique products are the cornerstone of our competitiveness and the key to success. A good example are the wooden handles produced by ‘Ingrid D’ and other products made of aspen wood, which may seem like an insignificant raw material to many,” emphasizes Jānis Grahoļskis, Chairman of the Board of ‘Ingrid D’ AS.
‘ImpExWood’ SIA, a wide-profile timber processing company, sells its products, which include wood finishing boards, construction materials, glued components, packaging materials, as well as heating pellets, in the European Union, Asian countries and other markets. Vera Ansone, the company's sales specialist, says that international fairs are always a good opportunity to meet industry representatives from other countries, understand the market situation and possible directions for development. "A direct contact with a customer, which is something that has been missing for the past two years due to Covid-19, means a lot for businesses to sell their product successfully," says Vera Ansone. “Recycling production in Latvia is quite well developed, and each such fair is an opportunity to show the world what we can do. We are in a favourable position in terms of production costs, because we were forced to automate production due to labour shortages, which is definitely a long-term benefit. We also have sufficient timber resources, and the advantageous location allows us to attract additional materials from Scandinavia, until the war in Ukraine - also from Russia and Belarus. At the moment, it is difficult to say how the industry will develop as a result of these events, but that is why new markets and opportunities must be sought around the world.”
‘Baibiņa’ SIA specializes in the production of various types of sawn wood, wooden pallets, charcoal and acoustic panels with export markets in the UK, Ireland, France, Italy, Lithuania, Estonia, the Czech Republic, Germany and Finland. In Dubai, the company hopes to find new partners and customers who would like to work together to develop a new direction or product in the woodworking industry. The company's executive director Baiba Katkovska-Laizāne says: "We hope that this fair will allow us to take the first step outside Europe and England, thus expanding our market and diversifying our customer base, which in turn would allow us to develop new woodworking directions and offer a wider range of products. In our opinion, Latvia is very competitive in the wood processing industry, thanks to our natural resources and qualified specialists. In Latgale, where our company is located, there are a lot of woodworking companies that produce a wide range of products and successfully export them to various countries, occupying a stable niche in the global timber export market.”