The World Flooring Forum (WFF), a wood flooring industry conference held last month in Shanghai, drew more than 500 attendees from 10 countries. The event also featured 54 speakers from flooring industry associations around the globe, including the National Wood Flooring Association.

Carrying the theme of “Low Carbon and Global Opportunities,” the conference covered issues including trade, standards, technology, product and marketing. Wang Zhibao, the former State Forestry Administration, P.R.China; Mr. Ding Qinhua, the chief engineer of Shanghai Forestry Bureau; and Mr. Zhang Shougong, the director of Chinese Academy of Forestry kicked off the event. They commended the influence of WFF to promote industry networking worldwide along with the Chinese wood flooring industry.

A highlight of the conference was a global market overview presented by six keynote speakers from Europe, the U.S., Brazil, South Africa, India and China. They shared their perspectives on the current status and prospects of their respective wood flooring markets. Speakers included Mark Elwell, an ex-officio director of the NWFA (United States); Marco Antonio Beirao, who sits on the board of directors of ANPM (Brazil); Ye Kelin, the director of Research Institute of Wood Industry, China Academy of Forestry (China); Juergen Fruechtenicht, the president of EFPI (Europe); Deepak Dahlowt, the honorary convener of CCPS (India); and Steven Suntup, the vice chairman of SAWLFA (South Africa).

The conference also included six consecutive panel discussions. More than 40 top leaders from the biggest Chinese manufacturers and global distributors got together to discuss market trends, technology innovation, material applications, distribution, and branding.

Panelists included: Weng Shaobin, president, Power Dekor; She Xuebin, president, Nature Flooring; Song Jianlong, president, Jinqiao Flooring Group; Jiang Changzheng, chairman of the board, Shengda Wood; Lu Weiguang, chairman of the board, A&W Woods; Ru Jiyong, president, Der Group; Zeng Zhiwen, general manager, China Floors; Gu Zisheng, vice chairman of the board, Zhejiang Shiyou Timber; Lin Hai, chairman of the board, Dasso Flooring; Ruan Junyang, general manager international operations, Elegant Living.

Other speakers were: Lei Xiang, chairman of the board, Yangzi Wood Industry; Zhang Enjiu, chairman of the board, Treessun Flooring; Zhang Jieqiang, chairman of the board, Guangzhou FNEN Wood Flooring; Xu Zhenzhong, deputy general manager, Shanghai New Sihe Wood; Wu Huadong, general manager, Yihua Timber Industry; He Yixin, chairman of the board, Yekalon; Greg Gottlieb, svp and managing director Asia, Armstrong World Industries; Marek Janke, commercial director and board of directors, BARLINEK; and James Traweek, president of Maretti USA.

WFF was organized by the China National Forest Products Industry Association (CNFPIA), the Chinese Academy of Forestry, and hosted by the Flooring Board Special Committee of CNFPIA, the Research Institute of Wood Industry and VNU Exhibitions Asia. WFF also received official support from the State Forestry Administration and the Shanghai Municipal Government.