Raw material and skilled labour shortage could hamper industry performance


Made in Malaysia furniture on display at MIFF 2017. Image: Turnstone Singapore

Malaysia’s timber exports are expected to increase five per cent this year from RM23.22 billion in 2017, according to Dr. Jalaluddin Harun, Director General of the Malaysian Timber Industry Board (MTIB).

Malaysia ships to more than 160 countries with Japan, the United States, the European Union, Australia and India making up the top five markets.

Dr Jalaluddin added that marketing efforts will be spent on countries with which Malaysia has trade agreements.

However the main issues facing the timber sector, he said, are the shortage of raw materials and skilled workers and that this must be addressed.

Dr Jalaluddin estimated that 80 per cent of Malaysian-made furniture is made of rubberwood and efforts must be made to secure this resource for the domestic industry.