The event, which focused on automation and smart manufacturing to promote the adoption of industry 4.0 among the wood-based industry players, was officiated by Datuk Madiyem Layapan, Permanent Secretary of Sabah Ministry of Trade & Industry. It attracted nearly 150 participants including those from outside of Sabah and featured presentations by Department of Industrial Development & Research (DIDR), Sabah State Forestry Department, ABB Malaysia Sdn Bhd and Malaysian Timber Industry Board (MTIB). They shared on the current status of the infrastructure and the availability of resources in Sabah as well as product innovation and potential in downstream activities.
Datuk N. Rajendran, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of MIDA during his welcoming remarks said, “With abundant natural resources, Sabah is poised for more investments in the wood and wood-based industry. The recent announcement made by Yang Amat Berhormat Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Mohd Shafie Bin Haji Apdal to make Sandakan as a furniture centre in Sabah is certainly a step in the right direction for the State. MIDA acknowledges the importance that furniture and wood-based industry plays as one of the key industries to be developed in the State.”
As at September 2018, a total of 2,919 projects on furniture and wood-based products projects have been approved by MIDA with investment worth RM33.02 billion. Majority of these investment or 67% (RM22.14 billion) were from domestic sources, while the rest (33% or RM10.88 billion) were from foreign investments. For Sabah, MIDA has approved a total of 466 furniture and wood-based projects with total investments of RM5.36 billion.
One of the participants, Mr. Jason Lee, Manager of Forest Avenue International Sdn Bhd said, “Going downstream has proven to be very profitable for West Malaysia. In Sabah’s perspective, this direction can never be wrong. The future of Sabahans depends on their willingness to move out of their comfort zone and be ready to embrace the real world market.”
According to Mr. Tan Peng Juan, Chairman of Sabah Timber Industries Association (STIA), “To address on the issue of export ban of logs, STIA has suggested on establishment of a working committee that consist of Sabah-based industry representatives and Government agencies. The aim is to assist the government in facilitating the new forestry policy, to ensure that the correct form of investment is brought into Sabah, and to monitor the progress of industrial development. It is essential for the state government to have a permanent collaboration with industry players to ensure that there is a consistency in short-, mid- and long-term plans under the new forestry masterplan. STIA also insisted that Sabah state government should give clear direction on the permanent ban of export of timber logs from Sabah.”
Due to the good feedback received, MIDA will continue to organise similar engagements in Sabah to promote more investments in the wood-based industry. It will feature bankers to facilitate financial assistance.
For more information, please contact:
Mr. Mohd Rasli Muda
Director, Food Technology & Resource-Based, MIDA
Tel.: 03-2267 3643| Email: [email protected]