Abang Jo: Sarawak ready to scale up furniture exports
13 Feb 2023
Sarawak aims to increase its exports of value-added timber products, including furniture, to reach RM6bil by 2030, says Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.
The Sarawak Premier said furniture exports currently stood at only RM44mil, or 1.4% of RM3.1bil of timber and timber products exported from January to September last year.
“By 2030, furniture and other value-added products should be 75% of the targeted RM8bil in total export earnings from timber and timber products,” he said when opening the first Sarawak Design Week at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching here on Monday (Feb 13).
To achieve this target, Abang Johari said the state government would set up furniture parks where wood-based small and medium enterprises can be located.
“We will allocate seed capital for the parks, which will be equipped with IT and digital facilities for product and data simulation,” he said.
It was previously reported that the furniture parks would be developed in Kuching and Tanjung Manis by the Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (STIDC) in collaboration with industry players.
Abang Johari also said STIDC and its wholly-owned subsidiary Sarawak Design Centre (Saradec) were working towards transforming the state’s timber industry by focusing on value-added products.
He said their efforts included collaborating with Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) and Indonesia’s Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB) to train furniture designers.
“ITB has a long history and is well-positioned to share knowledge with Unimas and Saradec.
“We have sent 26 graduates to ITB to gain fundamental expertise in creating furniture that is unique and in demand,” he said.
Organised by Saradec and ITB, Sarawak Design Week aims to create awareness of the importance of design, attract potential buyers and collaborations, create a Sarawak brand image, and establish a design hub in the state.
Abang Johari later witnessed the exchange of memorandums of understanding (MOUs) between Saradec and the Korean Furniture Association (Kofa), Sarawak Timber Association, University of Technology Sarawak (UTS), and Kolej Komuniti Miri.
The MOU with Kofa aims to create market opportunities in South Korea for Sarawak’s furniture designers, while those with UTS and Kolej Komuniti Miri will give design graduates from both institutions the chance to participate in Saradec’s young designers programme.
Source: The Star