According to The Borneo Post, Malaysia’s Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities has fixed an export value of RM$32.8 billion (US$7.77 billion) for the timber and timber products industry to reach by 2030.
Deputy Minister Willie Mongin stated that the timber industry accounts for the third highest contributor to the country’s agro-commodity sector, with export value of timber and timber products reaching $22.74bn (US$5.38bn) in 2021.
In that export value, Sarawak contributed 15%, with the main exports being plywood, timber and fibreboard, according to Deputy Minister Mongin.
He also mentioned that the income from timber royalties used to be $600 million (US$142 million), but it had decreased to $300m (US$71m) because the country’s “timber cannot be processed for one reason or another, whereas in the past, most of [their] timber came from the native forest”, as quoted by The Borneo Post.
The industry also faces the problem of harvesting Sarawak’s quality timber, since different timber species require different harvesting techniques.
But Deputy Minister Mongin hoped that the industry can obtain guidance from foreign countries, particularly Australia, in order to make the timber industry “more sustainable”, thus “increasing timber output in the upstream level”.
The Malaysian government is also rolling out initiatives to promote the overall sustainability of the timber value chain. Mongin cited the Forest Plantation Development Programme under the 12th Malaysian Plan as one example, and encouraged industry players to take advantage of such initiatives and contact the ministry to get their applications processed.
Source: The Borneo Post