KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Timber Council (MTC) has allocated a development fund of RM28.3 million to boost the competitiveness of the timber industry, said the Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry (MPIC).
MPIC minister Datuk Dr Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali said as the third largest commodity subsector after oil palm and rubber, the country's timber industry recorded RM3.78 billion in exports in the first two months of this year, down 3.3 per cent compared with the corresponding period in 2020 due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Realising this, MTC has launched several new initiatives to assist industry players. This includes the Young Entrepreneur Society programme, created to facilitate the transfer of leadership from the founders to their successors in the timber industry,” he said in a statement today.
Mohd Khairuddin said other programmes included the 2021 Engineer Placement and Internship in Timber Industry Programme and TimbeReality, which is aimed at promoting Malaysian timber products on a dedicated virtual reality platform.
Other initiatives are the Design Incubator Programme 2.0, which connects local designers or architects with timber-based and furniture companies to develop high value-added timber and furniture products, as well as the Digital Marketing Entrepreneurship Programme and Export Assistance Programme.
Yesterday, Mohd Khairuddin met with timber industry players at a dialogue session and iftar (breaking of fast) ceremony in Kuala Lumpur.
Hosted by MTC, the event was held in conjunction with the Jerayawara MTC 2021 programme to provide briefings on the latest market developments as well as measures and efforts to strengthen the timber industry, which is one of the main contributors to the country's commodity exports.
Jerayawara MTC 2021 is a roadshow programme that kicked off yesterday in Kuala Lumpur.
Next, Mohd Khairuddin is scheduled to meet timber industry players at the state level starting with Melaka (May 6) and followed by Seberang Jaya, Penang (May 7) and Johor Bahru, Johor (May 10). - Bernama