Malaysian Wood Expo 2023: Gateway into Malaysian and South East Asian timber market

MWE 2019

From 18-20 Jun 2023, the Malaysian Wood Expo (MWE) will bring together international suppliers, manufacturers, and buyers of all types of timber, timber products, and woodworking machinery at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (MITEC) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Co-organised by the Malaysian Timber Council (MTC) and Panels & Furniture Asia Group, MWE 2023 is back with opportunities to reconnect face-to-face with old business partners, forge new business alliances, and develop new business leads with local, regional and international exhibitors.

“There is no doubt that businesses are looking to increase their margins and sales by differentiating their products: Everyone is concerned with making the difference, adding value, and reaping rewards. MWE has been designed to help businesses do just that,” said Noraihan Abdul Rahman, CEO of MTC.


For the upcoming MWE, the organisers expect to see more than 3,500 trade visitors, compared to 3,000 visitors in 2019.

In 2019, MWE’s Incoming Buying Mission (IBM), conducted in collaboration with the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE), generated potential sales of approximately RM118.93m. The IBM matched 93 Malaysian manufacturers of wood-based products with 64 buyers from 14 countries. Among the buyers who attended were from China, South Korea, India, Mauritius, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Bangladesh, Pakistan, United Arab Emirates, South Africa, the US, Mexico, France and Poland. The products sourced by these foreign buyers included wooden doors, sawntimber, plywood, veneer, wooden floorings and furniture products.

The upcoming edition will continue the business matching programme and the international profile of exhibitors and visitors, along with pocket talks and seminars on trending topics in the wood and woodworking industry. Additionally, the MWE 2023 will continue supporting Malaysia’s timber industry production growth by connecting local manufacturers with the right buyers and machinery suppliers with technology solutions that will improve production efficiency to meet both export demands and domestic sales.

“The MWE offers a great chance for our industry members [in Malaysia] to present their products and capabilities to the world,” said Noraihan. “One can expect to see a diverse range of products — both timber products and woodworking machinery and equipment — as well as what is trending in the global timber marketplace and forge valuable contacts to expand their scope of business.”

The IBM during MWE 2019

Why Malaysia?

Malaysia’s timber products — which range from furniture and engineered wood products to mouldings and builders’ joinery and carpentry used in structural and interior applications — are highly regarded in the market due to supply reliability, quality, as well as the availability of sustainable and certified timber products.

Malaysian timber-based manufacturers have the capacity and capability to produce products from the conceptualisation and design stages to manufacturing, and most importantly comply with international standards — which is why they are one of the world’s biggest exporters of timber products. As a testament to this, the country recorded RM25.21bn worth of exports in 2022, which represented 12.16% of the total contribution from the commodities sector, 1.62% of the country’s total merchandise export, and contributed 1.67% to the country’s total GDP. Malaysian timber and timber products are a preferred choice for luxury resorts and private dream homes.

The country also enjoys good trade relations with neighbouring South East Asian countries. Visitors looking to enter this flourishing trade region can therefore find plenty of such opportunities at MWE 2023.

South East Asia’s share of global FDI rose from 11.9% in 2019 to 13.7% in 2020, while the intra-ASEAN share of FDI in the region increased from 12% to 17%. The longer-term trend shows that the value of international project finance in South East Asia has doubled from an annual average of US$37bn in 2015-2017 to an annual average of $74bn in 2018-2020. The region hosts 227 of the world companies with more than $1bn in revenues, which is only 3% of the world’s total: It is well-positioned in the centre of global trade flows, and visitors of MWE 2023 can leverage on that. Furthermore, 67 million households of the South East Asia population belong to the consumption class and could double to 125 million by 2025. This makes the region a growing hub of consumer demand.

This article first appeared in the May / June issue of Panels & Furniture Asia.