On behalf of the American Hardwood Export Council, it is with great pleasure that I welcome all of you to the city of Bangkok for the AHEC 25th Southeast Asia and Greater China Convention.
The last two years since we last met in Ningbo and Hanoi have arguably brought more dislocation and uncertainty to the hardwood industry than any other period in living history. A trade war between the world’s two largest economies, COVID shutdowns, supply chain disruptions, an unexpected boom in construction and home renovation markets, spiking energy costs, global inflation and now a land war in Europe engulfing two major hardwood producing nations have all conspired to create unprecedented challenges as well as opportunities for our industry. While it seems that we are always reacting to the next major disruption, it is vital that we don’t lose sight of the major long-term issues that confront us and that the global wood industries remain united and focused on the opportunities ahead of us.
This Convention is designed to help further strengthen these bonds, as our aim is not only to introduce US exporters to Asian importers, but to also help foster the relationships between Asian end users and specifiers and the local wood processing industry and distributors of American hardwoods.
It is no simple matter to put the day-to-day running of a business on hold to attend an event such as this, and we have worked hard to bring together an array of top-flight speakers and experts from around the world. I sincerely hope that you find this Convention to be both timely and useful, and look forward to working with all of you toward creating an even closer bond between the US hardwood industry and Asia’s architectural, design and manufacturing industries.
On behalf of American Hardwood Export Council - AHEC, I would like to welcome you to the AHEC 25th Southeast Asia and Greater China Convention and Mini Trade Show and Reception at Bangkok Marriott. This event is hosted by AHEC and we welcome AHEC members and all guests including timber importers, furniture designers and manufacturers, timber products processors, interior designers and architects and contractors, media, university and academics from Bangkok, USA and overseas. Today is a very special day for AHEC and members because 2022 marks the 30th Anniversary of AHEC’s Hong Kong office. It is also special for AHEC and Bangkok because in 1992 I conducted my first trade servicing trip to Bangkok and now - 30 years later - AHEC has come to Bangkok a second time for its regional. We look forward to welcoming over 150- 180 attendees and are grateful after the disruption caused by the pandemic that border are reopened for foreign nationals and we all have the opportunity to meet in person. This convention focuses on the Sustainable US hardwoods for interior architectural design, furniture design and manufacturing during the time when the world is focused fighting climate change. The convention will provide a platform and opportunity for traders, importers and producers and designers and professionals to network with AHEC members and executives and discuss supply and demand of the wide variety of US hardwood species.
I would like to thank all the guests including over AHEC members and our AHEC chairman - David Whitten and our Executive Director, Michael Snow, who will be making the journey from the USA for the event. I also extend a warm welcome to ATO Agricultural Counsellor Kelly Stange, FAS in Bangkok, and thank her team for their support. Finally thanks to the TTA and TFA Chairman Mr. Jirawat and his team, and the speakers for coming together to make the event the success it promises to be.
I look forward to seeing you all at our convention on October 14, at 9:00 am at Bangkok Marriott.
I wish you all a safe trip to Bangkok and a fruitful experience at the convention.