Johari: Malaysia's timber industry expected to recover this year

Plantation and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani.

KUALA LUMPUR: The timber and timber products industry is expected to recover this year following better growth projections of the United States (US) economy, the main destination for Malaysia’s furniture exports.

Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani said the industry's performance has declined over the past two years but the government is committed to supporting its sustainability and growth.

"For 2024, we are quite confident that furniture exports will return to their original position," he said after officiating at the launch of the Malaysia International Furniture Fair (MIFF) 2024 here today.

Earlier in his speech, Johari said the timber and furniture industry was not insulated from the effects of global headwinds, with the exports of timber and timber products falling by 13.2 to RM21.9 billion in 2022 and furniture exports dropping by 18.1 per cent to RM9.1 billion last year.

"This is largely due to a weakening in housing demand in the US, the biggest buyer of Malaysian furniture, accounting for over half of furniture exports," he added.

The Malaysian furniture industry is largely export oriented, with 44 per cent of timber exports shipped to 186 countries over the past five years.

Johari said the government has spent almost RM1 billion for the Forest Plantation Development Programme (FPDP) and provided soft loans to 88 companies for replanting projects.

"This is for reforestation efforts involving 142,000 hectares, including 75,000 hectares in the peninsula, Sabah (37,000 hectares) and Sarawak (35,000 hectares)... this development is ongoing and is expected to yield results in the next seven to 15 years.

He said the government will continue to ensure that industry players are able to comply with international standards as the world is now concerned about deforestation.

"The furniture industry must continue to work closely with the ministry and its agencies such as the Malaysian Timber Industry Board (MTIB), Malaysian Timber Council (MTC) and Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) to streamline the environmental, social and governance (ESG) framework in the industry to harmonise the elements of conservation and industrialisation," he added. - Bernama

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Timber , Furniture , MTIB , Johari Abdul Ghani , MIFF


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