Furniture city in the pipeline 


Lee (fourth from left) and Amirudin (centre) at the launch of SIFC.

THE KL & Selangor Furniture Association (KSFA) has teamed up with B&G Property and MJD Land to launch an industrial furniture development in Sungai Buaya, Selangor to address the issue concerning legality of factories.

It will be known as International Furniture City @ Selangor (SIFC) - Sungai Buaya with the state government’s approval, said KSFA president Datuk Eric Lee Kong Sim.

SIFC was created to look into the legality of furniture factories, which is among the problems affecting Malaysia’s furniture industry.

To facilitate the furniture city, a 283ha land in Sungai Buaya has been identified. The area is about 35km from Kuala Lumpur via the North-South Expressway.

“KSFA is focused on selling the first phase of the SIFC development, comprising 255 industrial lots over 117ha of land. It will be a guarded community with security features such as anti-climb perimeter fencing, boom gate and 24-hour security patrolling service,” said Lee.

By developing SIFC, he said it would reduce the issue of illegal factories in Selangor.

The other objective is to contribute to economic growth in exports, reduce imports while upgrading the quality of local-made furniture.

The development will consist of 20m-wide internal road and greenery. There would also be dormitories for workers, said Lee.

Some 9,000 jobs will be created, a gross development value of RM1bil and annual output of about RM3bil are projected from the project.

SIFC was launched by Selangor Mentri Besar Amirudin Shari, who said, “This will certainly boost and accelerate our furniture export and domestic consumption.”

He quoted the 2019 Doing Business report, which stated that the World Bank had placed Malay-sia in 15th position among 190 world economies.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) also ranked Malaysia as the 25th most competitive nation among 140 countries in 2018.

“Malaysia is also the second most competitive nation among the Asean countries. In the furniture industry alone, Malaysia is among the top 12 furniture exporters reaching over 160 global markets.

“The local wood and furniture industry has grown steadily in the last five years with RM7.35bil in 2013 to the peak of RM10.13bil in 2017.

“Despite a slight decline in 2018, the total export value for furniture products last year still recorded a staggering amount of RM9.83bil, which is a slight reduction of 3%, with Selangor contributing over 30% of total export.

“That same year, the record for domestic consumption was worth RM9.6bil.

“I remain optimistic of subsequent growth as Malaysian furniture producers have been known to be reliable suppliers and producers of quality furniture,” he said.

Amirudin added that these attributes contributed to preference for Malaysian furniture among international buyers.

“This does not happen overnight but it is the result of continuous uphill battles and great effort by the government and industry players for the past several decades.

“The total export value for furniture products reached RM4.13bil in the first five months this year. This is an increase of 9.6% from RM3.77bil over the same period last year. It is really a good sign,” he said. He added that Malaysia would continue to undertake significant measures to strengthen the resilience of the furniture industry.

“These include strategic moves by the government to strengthen the focus on labour, raw materials, mechanisation and automation issues.

“SIFC will certainly boost and accelerate our furniture export and domestic consumption. The furniture industry is purely a “Made in Malaysia” business venture as we fully utilise local raw materials in the local production,” he said.

Amirudin said he was aware of concerns over illegal factories, foreign labourers, factory compliance, industrial facilities and bumiputra participation.

“I believe SIFC will be a feasible plan, in line with the government’s goal to achieve a volume of RM20bil worth of furniture exports by 2025,” he added.

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