KUALA LUMPUR, 13 Oct — The value of Malaysia’s furniture exports in 2018 is expected to decline slightly to RM9-RM10 billion compared with RM10.1 billion last year, says Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok.
She said this was due to the lack of optimism in the current global economy which has affected demand for Malaysia’s furniture products.
“As commodities prices for palm oil and rubber can rise and fall, so can prices for wood products such as furniture,” Kok told reporters after officiating the launch of the Kuala Lumpur Furniture Design Week 2018 here today.
She said the United States, Japan, European Union and Australia were the biggest importers of Malaysian furniture products and Malaysia was the ninth largest furniture exporter globally.
Meanwhile, Malaysian Timber Industry Board (MTIB) Director-General Jalaluddin Harun said industry players in the furniture sector must reduce their reliance on lower-value original equipment manufacturing (OEM) segment, and move to the more innovative and higher-quality original brand manufacturing (OBM) or original design manufacturing (ODM) segments.
“OBM and ODM will allow a manufacturer to show their own brands and designs. At the same time, the value of a product can be increased between 15 and 25 per cent for ODM and up to 40 per cent for OBM.
“Thus, MTIB will continuously carry out various activities to stimulate the (furniture) industry, including university-level design competitions where these designs can then be commercialised,” he said.
He said the ratio of ODM and OBM products to OEM is 53:47 and by 2020, MTIB targets a ratio of 70:30 to boost the value and quality of Malaysia’s furniture products.
“We also target to increase the value of furniture exports to RM12 billion by 2020,” Jalaluddin added. — Bernama