Why do Asian companies not join the IWPA?March 23rd, 2014 | Posted by
Earlier this month I attended the annual IPWA meeting held in St. Petersburg FL in the USA. The IWPA (International Wood Product Association) was established in 1956 and is a leading international trade association for imported wood products into North America. According to its website it “represents over 200 companies and trade organizations engaged in the import of hardwoods and softwoods from sustainably managed forests in more than 30 nations across the globe”. Their members consist of three key groups involved in the import process:
1. North American importers and consuming industries
2. Overseas manufacturers and suppliers
3. Service providers that facilitate trade
This was my 2nd annual convention and also this year it surprises me how few Asian members attend this event. I talked to many North American importers and based on their information Asia is THE most important source for their imported products. So why are Asian manufacturers not there? It really baffles me and it seems that Asians prefer to export their products via 3rd party traders rather than going closer to the end-users such as North American distributors and or re-manufacturers. Besides meeting these importers it is also a unique opportunity to get first-hand information what is happening in Canada and the USA.
Of course the lack of Asian suppliers at the IWPA was good for our business; the fewer Asians the more export business we, as APP Timber, do and also during this convention we were able to obtain new orders.