KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s timber exports went up 13.79% to RM13.2 billion in the first six months of 2022 compared with RM11.59 billion in the corresponding period last year, due to the reopening of the economy post-pandemic and the quality of timber products that are recognised internationally.
Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin said the timber industry is an important sector which is significant to the economic development of the country.
“In 2021, this industry recorded an export value of RM22.74 billion, where it rose to 3.27% compared to the year 2020. Until June 2022, the export value of timber products contributed RM13.19 billion which is an increase of 13.79% compared to RM11.59 billion for the same period in 2021,” she said in her speech at the signing of a memorandum of understanding between CTSC Worldwide Sdn Bhd (CWSB), a sub-subsidiary of Malaysian Timber Industry Board (MTIB), and seven stakeholders today.
MTIB director general Kamaruzaman Othman said he is cautiously optimistic on the furniture industry this year due to it having good potential and believes that it will be slightly better than before. However, he remains cautious of headwinds driven by a fluid economy and issues such raw materials and worker shortage faced by the industry.
“Outlook as of now, with the reopening of most the economy after the Covid-19 (pandemic), should be better. Even if you look at our statistics for the first six months, we have (recorded) an increase of 13% over the same period last year. So, if you go by that trend, there should be a better outcome than this year but of course the economy is still very fluid, we do not know what’s going to happen.
“But there is light at the end. We have good potential but we have to deal with certain issues, especially in the furniture industry, we have these issues like perennial issues (such as) raw materials, workers (shortage). If we can mitigate this problem, we should be doing slightly better than the past.
“We (cannot) be too optimistic because we do not know what’s going to happen with the world economy because our industry is very much dependant on the world economy. We are doing mostly for exports, so its very much open to external factors (such as recession). We really have to see the economic figures (and) numbers to at least say for sure. I am cautiously optimistic,” he said.
The stakeholders that signed the MoU include Universiti Putra Malaysia, MYTeakwood Holdings Sdn Bhd and Green Afforestation International Network Sdn Bhd. The MoU is for the construction of a prototype house using Paulownia cross laminated timber with ready-to-install system.