KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 22 — Malaysia’s timber industry exports rose by 13.79 per cent to RM13.2 billion from January to June 2022 against RM11.59 billion for the same period last year.
Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin said the industry’s export value reached RM22.7 billion in 2021 with wooden furniture being the most important component, contributing RM10.4 billion.
Malaysian wood-based furniture are exported to more than 160 countries of which the main markets are the United States, Japan, Singapore, Australia, and the United Kingdom, Zuraida said at a press conference after witnessing the signing of several memoranda of understanding (MoUs) between CTCS Worldwide Sdn Bhd (CWSB) and seven stakeholders today.
She said, despite the good export performance of Malaysian timber products and furniture in the world market, the Bumiputera entrepreneurs’ contribution still lagged behind, estimated at less than one per cent of export value.
Therefore, the ministry via its agency, the Malaysian Timber Industry Board (MTIB) and its subsidiary CWSB, has implemented various programmes to empower the Bumiputera agenda throughout 2022.
“Since the setting up of CWSB in 2019, it has been mandated to support the development of Bumiputera small and medium enterprises via market opportunities at government-related companies, government and private sector level.
“CWSB has now been given a greater mandate to lead the Bumiputera empowerment programme to develop the competitiveness of the entrepreneurs,” she said, adding that CWSB has received a RM25 million allocation from the ministry and an additional RM10 million to boost the industry.
She said the government is committed to ensuring the Bumiputera entrepreneurs development are translated into a long-term plan via strategic collaboration with the Federal government and state agencies, public universities and industry.
Zuraida said the MoUs between CWSB and the seven stakeholders reflect seven commitments of all parties in the development of the entire timber ecosystem chain, including Bumiputera entrepreneurs.
The key performance indicator target for these seven MoUs is to achieve a RM50 million contract value from local and international markets.
The MoUs encompass CWSB with Universiti Putra Malaysia, MYTeakwood Holdings Sdn Bhd and Green Afforestation International Network Sdn Bhd to construct a prototype house using Paulownia cross laminated timber with ready-to-install system.
Additionally, CWSB’s MoU with Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM) is to develop an ecosystem support in Muar Furniture Park’s teaching factory and UTHM to help develop Muar’s furniture industry, being the main contributor to Malaysia’s furniture exports.
CWSB will also work with the Langkawi Development Authority to develop more Bumiputera entrepreneurs in wood-based and carving in Langkawi; CWSB and the Terengganu Timber Industry Training Centre to upskill Bumiputera vendors; CWSB together with Muar Furniture Association to encourage Bumiputera entrepreneurs to participate in promotional programmes and exhibitions.
CWSB will also collaborate with the Association of Malaysian Bumiputera Timber and Furniture Entrepreneurs to develop entrepreneurs in the local timber products industry. — Bernama