The Malaysian Timber Council (MTC) and the Malaysian Wood Moulding and Joinery Council (MWMJC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Philippine Wood Producers Association (PWPA) in Makati City, Manila, Philippines, on 7 Nov 2022.
The MoU, which aims to promote timber trade development and establish timber trade standardisation between both countries, was signed by Muhtar Suhaili, CEO of MTC, Ng Boon Kuan, vice-chairman of MWMJC, and Ramon Y. Uy, chairman of PWPA.
The collaboration was inked in conjunction with MTC’s market research visit to PHILCONSTRUCT Trade Show 2022 in Manila with 12 Malaysian timber-based companies. As one of Malaysia’s important export destinations in ASEAN, the Philippines offers export opportunities.
Malaysia and the Philippines are traditional timber trade partners. In 2021, Malaysia was the largest exporter of fibreboard to the Philippines, amounting to US$23.1m, and was one of the top five exporters of wooden furniture, particleboard, and plywood worth $22.4m, $16.2m and $11.3m respectively. The Philippines exported wooden furniture to Malaysia worth $100,000 in 2021.
“MTC is reaching out to its trade partners within ASEAN to revive businesses and trade relationships that were halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Muhtar, adding that the Philippines’s strong economic standing among the ASEAN bloc nations as well as its growing young population was a major business attraction.
“Its booming construction market, especially for the residential projects offers much opportunity for timber industry players, particularly for the interior panels, fittings, and furniture sectors.”
The World Bank has also raised its growth forecast for the Philippines this year, citing a strong recovery in consumption. The accelerated infrastructure development that is planned through the “Build Better More” agenda is anticipated to drive demand and deliver infrastructure projects to sustain and expand the country’s infrastructure programme, to support growth, as well as open new trade opportunities for timber and timber-based products.