Jakarta. Indonesia is set to take part for the second time in the prestigious Salone del Mobile Milano — the world's biggest furniture fair — in Milan, Italy, on April 17-22 this year.
Established in 1961, the Salone is a hub for craftspeople and businesses from all over the world to network, see the latest furniture trends and buy products or distribution rights.
Last year, 165 countries including Indonesia participated in the fair.
Now Indonesia will return to the exhibition and better yet, have its pavilion situated in the main area, the RHO Fiera Milano.
Last year, the country only managed to exhibit in the smaller Tortona zone.
Indonesia’s pavilion will be named "IDentities."
"IDentities as a concept is meant to show that the strength of our craft lies on diversity. Last year, we already showed our expertise in woodwork, fretwork and cane work. This year we will have even more," Bekraf marketing deputy Joshua Simanjuntak said at a press conference in Jakarta on Thursday (11/01).
Joshua said the Indonesian pavilion this year will show the same diverse collection but with aesthetic qualities that can appeal to the global taste and better product management to make it easier for Indonesian craftsmen to join the global market.
Bekraf had taken in submissions from Indonesian furniture designers and manufacturers who wanted to participate in the event. Submissions were accepted from Dec. 9 to Jan. 15 and stricter rules than last year were applied.
Their products have to be original with registered intellectual property rights, and comply with environmental standards.
Companies have to have been in production for at least five years.
"Woodworking companies must have passed the legal timber verification system [SVLK]," Joshua said.
Individual talents must show proven ability to develop original, high-quality ideas.
"They must be ready to enter the global market, which means willing to work with international companies," Joshua said.
Bekraf will provide a mentorship program to teach participants a range of new skills, including product marketing and IP rights.
Bekraf vice chairman Ricky Pesik said Indonesia’s participation in the Salone is expected to help the country's branding as a global furniture producer and, more directly, to boost its craft exports.
The craft industry contributed 39.01 percent of the creative economy gross domestic product in 2016, the second biggest contributor after fashion.