Malaysia is unlikely to achieve its furniture export target of RM10 million this year due to manpower shortage.
“Some furniture orders were lost and some delayed because of the shortage of workers to do hand-crafting to add value to the products,” said Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong at the launch of the Tanggam Design Centre in Kuala Lumpur this week.
Efforts have been put in place to solve the issue with the first batch of Bangladeshi workers arriving within the next two weeks to help the industry grow, he added.
Malaysia’s furniture exports in the first eight months of 2016 was RM4.84 billion. The country is the eighth largest furniture exporter, shipping furniture products to over 100 countries in the world.
Malaysian Timber Industry Board Director General Datuk Dr Jalaludin Harun remarked that there are plans to boost the country’s ranking to the world’s top five exporter in the next 10 years as it has quality wood resources.