OUTREACH initiatives by the Malaysian Timber Council (MTC), such as its recent dialogue and buka puasa with timber business players, can improve public-private cooperation to further spur the industry’s growth.
The session, held in conjunction with the MTC Roadshow 2021, saw Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali engaging with industry players to understand current challenges and issues in order to better address obstacles hampering progress.
Also attending the session were Deputy Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Jeck Seng, MPIC secretary-general Datuk Ravi Muthayah, MTC chairman Mazli Zakuan Mohd Noor and MTC chief executive officer Muhtar Suhaili.
The MTC Roadshow 2021 in Kuala Lumpur is aimed at briefing industry players on the latest market developments, measures and efforts to strengthen the timber industry.
MTC has so far met timber industry players in Melaka and Seberang Jaya (Penang).
Its final destination will be Johor Baru (Johor) on May 10.
Such efforts can go a long way in ensuring the RM28.3mil development fund can maximise its impact in boosting the industry’s competitiveness.
Noting that timber is the country’s third largest commodity sub-sector after palm oil and rubber, Mohd Khairuddin said the industry registered RM3.78bil in exports for the first two months of the year, with the 3.3% drop from the corresponding period last year attributed to the effects of the pandemic.“MTC has undertaken several new initiatives to assist industry players, including the Young Entrepreneur Society programme, which was created to facilitate the transfer of leadership from founders to successors, ” he said.
Other initiatives he touched on included the 2021 Engineer Placement and Internship in Timber Industry Programme, the virtual reality platform TimbeReality, the Design Incubator Programme 2.0, the Digital Marketing Entrepreneurship Programme and Export Assistance Programme.
Recapping the agency’s achievements in 2020, Mazli Zakuan said MTC realigned its strategic plan to meet industry needs arising from the new normal, including the much-needed Import Assistance Programme.
Under the programme, RM4.6mil was channelled to 93 Malaysian companies to assist in the import of wood-based raw materials and planting materials to encourage the production of high value-added products for the domestic and export markets.
“MTC will continue to identify business opportunities, while keeping up the reputation and image of the national timber industry, in order to ensure Malaysia continues to be known as a major manufacturer and exporter of timber-based products, ” said Mazli Zakuan.