KUALA LUMPUR: The total export of timber and timber products declined 5.7% to RM14.6bil from January to August this year compared to the same period of 2017 due to weather factors.
Malaysian Timber Council (MTC) chairman Datuk Low Kian Chuan said although there was a decrease, the council was confident of realising its yearly export target by year-end.
“So far, our main revenue generators, namely wooden furniture, plywood, sawn timber, fibreboard and builders’ joinery and carpentry are doing well,” he said on the sidelines of the first Malaysian Timber Conference here today.
Meanwhile, Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok said that with Malaysia’s commitment in maintaining its forest cover at above 50%, the timber industry must remain sustainable in the long term.
“Timber-based manufacturers must identify and overcome common pitfalls associated with growth so that their business can continue to thrive.
“We also need to face up to challenges by employing innovative, sustainable and market-driven solutions,” she added.
The timber industry contributed about 1.7% to the national gross domestic product with earnings of RM23.2bil last year.
Kok said Malaysian timber manufacturers were widely respected for producing top quality products, hence it was important to maintain the country’s position in the global market.
Themed, “Towards a Better Tomorrow,” the one-day conference will analyse global economic outlooks, timber demand and supply worldwide, the need for certification to prove that the timber was extracted in a sustainable and legal manner, embracing technology in relation to Industry 4.0 and commercialisation of research findings. — Bernama