The Malaysian Timber Council (MTC) introduced a new “3D” slogan for the country’s multibillion-ringgit timber industry, reports the MalayMail.
The three Ds refer to “Desirable, Deserving and Delightful”.
MTC chief executive officer (CEO) Richard Yu said timber and timber products play a vital role in the global circular economy. An improved perspective in the timber industry will ensure its sustainability and robustness.
Innovation coupled with aesthetically pleasing designs, technological advancements and branding are key elements that industry players must embrace.
Yu said that he hoped that with the 3D slogan, new markets, new products, new solution and new innovations will be discovered.
As of May 2019, the country’s total timber exports reached RM9.1 billion with increased exports seen in products such as mouldings, wooden frames and furniture.
Total export for the same corresponding period last year was RM8.9 billion.
WOODEN FURNITURE AMONG TOP CONTRIBUTORS IN THE INDUSTRY
In 2018, furniture contributed about 35 per cent of the total export earnings followed by plywood at 21 per cent.
Currently, Malaysia’s biggest timber export market is Japan, followed by the United States, European countries, India and the Far East countries.
As the total timber export continues to grow, the industry has to grapple with issues like the shrinking talent pool.
MTC according to him, hoped youths have the desire to develop their career in the wood-based industry to prevent job shortage.
LABOUR SHORTAGE A PERENNIAL PROBLEM
“MTC and other related agencies have its marketing arm in promoting better jobs to attract youths to start their career in this industry,” he said.
Echoing Yu’s opinion, the Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) CEO Yong Teng Koon said the job shortage is a perennial problem facing the industry right now, especially in the forestry sector.
“The shortage is a challenge that will persist unless we go for automation.”
“However, this will take time for the industry to build up the capacity to full automation, yet we are far behind from other countries entering the automation side,” he said.
The industry players should also aggressively move towards producing greater value-added downstream products utilising high-value timbers.