Tuesday, 20 February 2018

(The Star) Malaysia’s timber exports to increase 5% this year

JITRA: Malaysia’s timber exports are expected to increase 5% this year from RM23.22bil in 2017, Malaysian Timber Industry Board (MTIB) director-general Datuk Dr Jalaluddin Harun said.

He attributed this to high demand for the country’s timber products from developed countries such as Japan, the United States, European Union countries and Australia, as well as India due to their high quality which met the market specifications.

“We are currently exporting our products to more than 160 countries, but after this we will focus on countries that we have Free-Trade Agreements with like New Zealand, Turkey and Pakistan,” he said after opening MRSZ Two Enterprise Sdn Bhd’s showroom here yesterday.

Jalaluddin said, however, in striving to achieve the export target of RM28bil by 2020, Malaysia would face shortages of raw materials and skilled workers, thus making it difficult to meet export demand.

“Eighty per cent of our furniture is made up of rubber woods besides other tropical timbers.

“As demand from developed countries is high, sometimes we have to ban the exports (of rubber furniture) due to shortages of rubber materials,” he said.

On the involvement of bumiputra companies in the national timber industry, he said it was still very low and lagging behind as it made up only 0.7% or RM161mil of total exports last year.

In fact, currently only 341 bumiputra companies are active in the industry, of which 46%t are micro-status companies with total revenue of RM500,000 and below each year and only one medium-sized company with income ranging from RM15mil and RM50mil a year, he added. — Bernama