Kok: Furniture exports to rise 1% this year

  • Economy
  • Tuesday, 26 Nov 2019

SERDANG: Malaysia’s furniture exports are expected to rise 1% this year against RM7.79bil recorded in 2018 on the back of continued demand from customers despite global economic uncertainties, the Primary Industries Ministry said.

According to its minister Teresa Kok, locally-made furniture still attracted high demand especially from the United States, Japan and Europe.

“As of August 2019, the country’s exports of timber-based furniture jumped to RM5.6bil and this represents an increase of 13.5% compared to RM4.9bil during the same period last year,” she told the media after opening the National Bumiputra Furniture Entrepreneur Symposium here yesterday.

The increase in exports, she said, indicated that industry players have begun to focus on high value-added products, especially furniture rather than primary products such as timber, plywood and others.

Nevertheless, she expressed concern over the low participation of bumiputra entrepreneurs in the country’s timber industry.

Presently, bumiputera entrepreneurs who owned about 370 out of an estimated 3,500 timber factories in Malaysia only contributed about 1% of the country’s exports of timber and timber products, said Kok.

“We need to create a focus group and conduct a SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threat) analysis and discuss the weaknesses among bumiputra entrepreneurs as well as to identify market opportunities and demand,” she said.

Kok also said if the local furniture industry is capable of producing modern and unique products such as those produced by Sweden’s leading furniture retailer Ikea, it could attract young people to join the industry. — Bernama

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