‘Export value of timber products to hit RM19bil in 2025’
08 Mar 2023
The export value of downstream timber products, including furniture, is expected to hit RM19bil in 2025, accounting for 68% of the country’s total timber product exports, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof.
This is the projection of the National Agricommodity Policy 2021–2030, he said.
“On the part of the government, our efforts towards the development of the national timber and timber products market are strengthened by the commercialisation of Made-in-Malaysia brands for the international market, particularly for high value-added products,” he said during his keynote address at the launch of the Export Furniture Exhibition (EFE) 2023 here yesterday.
Malaysia exports wooden furniture to 160 countries, with its main markets being the United States, Japan, Singapore, Australia and the United Kingdom.
Wooden furniture exports were valued at RM11.14bil last year.
To remain relevant and to keep up with the pace of evolving markets, Fadillah said the furniture industry would require a production re-examination and re-invention in terms of increasing local skilled expertise, adopting Industry Revolution (4.0) technologies, and increasing product quality and standardisation.
“In addition, deep dives into the needs of specific markets would allow Malaysian furniture manufacturers to explore untapped demand in niche areas unfilled by other products,” he said.
Fadillah, who is also the Plantation and Commodities Minister, urged the furniture industry to work closely with the Malaysian Timber Industries Board, the Malaysian Timber Council, and other government-linked agencies for the betterment of the furniture industry and its exports.
He said the Malaysian furniture industry had undergone rapid expansion since 1986.
“However, the pace of annual growth has plateaued in recent years due to stagnating productivity growth and increased competition from rising Asian furniture powerhouses such as China and Vietnam,” he said.
“Like other countries, Malaysia was also adversely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and is still in the recovery phase,” he said.
Malaysian Furniture Council (MFC) president Khoo Yeow Chong said the furniture industry “does have a future” after recording a 10.1% growth in export value from RM12.6bil in 2021 to RM13.86bil last year.
“EFE is a wonderful platform for manufacturers and potential buyers to meet and discuss business opportunities, which also increases the visibility of Malaysian-made products in the global market,” he said.
“I personally believe that EFE 2023 will be a stepping stone in achieving our export value of RM25bil by 2030,” he said.
EFE chairman and former MFC president Chua Chun Chai said the furniture industry has always been committed to boosting the profile of Malaysian furniture and the timber industry.
“EFE 2023 drew inspiration from other mega international events, and we realised that a comfortable atmosphere combined with the availability of multiple choices is the way forward for all buyers, foreign and domestic alike,” he said.
“Furthermore, government agencies as well as government-linked companies are more than welcome to source their products from EFE 2023 as it offers not only cheaper but equally good-quality Malaysian-made products comparable to our overseas counterparts,” he said.
The three-day expo, which ends on March 10 will feature 400 exhibitors from 160 countries.
It is organised by EFE Expo Sdn Bhd which is a subsidiary of MFC.
Source: The Star