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Len Talif: Sarawak seeks collaboration to develop engineered timber products

Len Talif: Sarawak seeks collaboration to develop engineered timber products

07 Dec 2020

Sarawak needs to forge its collaboration with higher institutions as well as other research agencies and industry players to develop engineered timber products, said Assistant Minister of Urban Planning, Land Administration and Environment Datu Len Talif Salleh.

Noting that engineered timber is one of the potential products in the timber industry that has the potential to be developed further, Len Talif said the world market of engineered timber is valued at US$41.27 billion in 2022.

“It is a huge market where we should participate in the future,” he said at a seminar known as the 2020 Engineered Timber Product Seminar hosted by the Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (STIDC) in collaboration with Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Shah Alam.

Len Talif said the timber industry players also need to enhance their capacity building in terms of knowledge and technologies.

“With this, STIDC and UiTM have embarked on a journey together to promote and share the knowledge on engineered timber products,” he added.

Apart from the cooperation with UiTM, he also revealed that the STIDC is also collaborating with Woodsfield Glulam Sdn Bhd, a Johor-based company which specialised in producing engineered timber and has exported its products overseas.

“The cooperation is focusing on research and development (R&D) to produce engineered timber using Acacia spp tree species from our planted forests. The way forward is to focus on our contribution to the industry to ensure that we remain relevant and the wood-based industry to remain robust,” he said.

Len Talif said the timber industry has been one of the major contributors to Sarawak’s socio-economic development but for the third quarter of this year, the total export earnings for timber and timber products was only RM2.8 billion, which was a decline of 19 per cent as compared to RM3.5 billion during the same period last year.

During the event, Len Talif also reminded the timber industry players to be more creative in order to be more relevant in the industry to ensure the sustainability of Sarawak forest and also make sure industry players need not depend on raw timber from the forest.

“We are aware of the issues affecting the wood-based industry particularly those related to the perception about the depleting raw materials.

“This issue is a challenge that warrants our serious attention in charting the future direction of the wood-based industry in the next 20-30 years,” he said.

As the future of the wood-based industry is everyone’s concern, Len Talif urged everyone to work together to ensure that the wood-based sector remain vibrant.

He also hoped that industry would continue to strive for the best in ensuring the vibrancy of the wood-based industry too.

“We will continue to find new ways to generate and boost income of the wood-based industry in order to contribute further to the state,” he said.

In tandem with the government’s aspiration to become a developed state by 2030, Len Talif said that the state government has set a target of RM8 billion export value of timber and timber products.

To achieve the target, he said the government hoped that the industry players would rise to this challenge and explore further the development of timber products such as engineered timber, which is commonly used globally as part of building components.

Meanwhile, Len Talif congratulated STIDC for successfully organising the 2020 Engineered Timber Product Seminar.

Among the purpose of organising the seminar is to promote and develop engineered timber products for the use of building structures especially in Sarawak.

A total of six papers were presented by speakers from STIDC, UiTM Shah Alam, Sarawak Planted Forest (SPF), CIDB and the Institute for Infrastructure Engineering and Sustainable Management (IIESM).

Four talk sessions were held online (webinar), while two talk sessions were held physically.

A total of 50 participants from various government and private agencies related to the use of wood-based products attended this one-day seminar.

Source: The Borneo Post