AHEC seminar at ‘gulfBID’ attracts leading players from wood sector in Bahrain and Northern Gulf
American hardwoods offer sustainability, wide diversity and standardised grading for complete transparency and assurance
The American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC), the leading international trade association for the American hardwood industry, has successfully hosted a seminar on ‘Designing and working with sustainable hardwoods’ yesterday (April 25, 2012) at the Bahrain International Exhibition Centre (BIEC). Attended by architects, interior designers, importers and woodworking professionals from Bahrain and the eastern province of Saudi Arabia, the high-impact event highlighted the wide variety of American hardwood species, their environmental credentials, as well as their importance in sustainable design. The seminar was designed to help industry professionals better understand how to work with U.S hardwoods amidst the ongoing recovery in the construction sector in Bahrain and across the GCC.
According a recent GCC construction industry report by Alpen Capital, the construction and real estate sector in Bahrain has started recovering from the lows of 2008-2009, however growth is still far from pre-crisis levels. With the Bahraini government planning to develop three new cities in East Hidd, East Sitra and Northern Town, this is expected to provide approximately 23,000 units by the end of 2016. The government's aggressive plan to provide affordable homes is expected to come as a respite for the struggling residential construction market. As part of its strategy to help develop new export markets, AHEC is participating at ‘gulfBID’ to help architects, interior designers, importers and woodworking professionals to understand the potential offered by America’s wide range of hardwood species, which offer a wealth of design and suitability options in this growing market.
Speaking at the event’s sidelines, Roderick Wiles, AHEC Director for Africa, Middle East, India and Oceania, said, “With its long and proven record of sustainability and continuity of supply, the U.S. hardwood industry offers high quality timber to address the demand of global customers, and we are taking major initiatives to educate the market and forge alliances with wood-consuming industries across the globe. Bahrain is a developing market, with an increasing volume of hardwoods being consumed in the country and our presence at ‘gulfBID’ is part of our strategy to support the efforts of our export companies and achieve further growth for U.S. hardwoods globally.”
The highlight of the seminar was a discourse on the wide variety of American hardwood species as well as their important environmental credentials and their importance in sustainable design. Wiles provided in-depth information on the US hardwood forest and United States’ long history of good forest governance in addition to talking about the commercial availability of American hardwood species and the potential they offer for design and end use in the Middle East. Further, the participants were also briefed on the grading rules for North American hardwoods, which form the basis of every successful transaction.
"The MENA region is demonstrating a need for high quality wood products for its interiors and furniture industries, which in turn creates an advantageous opportunity for us to assist in the growth of American hardwoods exports to the region. Amidst increasing calls for sustainability, AHEC continues to remain true to its promise of addressing the long term demands of the region and playing a key role in providing stakeholders with valuable environmental assurances and technical information that can help them use American hardwoods to their greatest potential,” concluded Wiles.
- ends -
The American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) is the leading international trade association for the U.S. hardwood industry, representing the committed exporters among U.S. hardwood companies and all the major U.S. hardwood production trade associations. AHEC runs a worldwide programme to promote American hardwoods in over 50 export markets, concentrating on providing architects, specifiers, designers and end-users with technical information on the range of species, products and sources of supply. In addition, AHEC also produces a full range of technical publications. For more information, please visit: www.americanhardwood.org.