The Malaysian Timber Council (MTC) has been facilitating members of the local timber industry to identify new sources of raw material supply since 1993.
Over the years, sourcing of raw materials and business missions have been mounted to countries like Lao DPR, Cambodia, Thailand, China, Canada, Indonesia, Brazil and New Zealand, as well as to the states of Sabah and Sarawak in East Malaysia.
To further assist the industry in augmenting the supply of timber raw materials, MTC organised, for the first time, its Overseas Suppliers-Malaysian Importers/Manufacturers Exchange programme held at the MTC headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 25 September 2018.
“The programme is part of our continuing efforts and serves as a platform for business matching sessions between Malaysian importers and/or manufacturers with overseas suppliers,” said MTC CEO, Richard Yu in his welcoming remarks.
Richard added that MTC has been playing a pivotal role in the development of the industry through several programmes under its Import Assistance Programme (IAP), which are the Direct Sourcing Programme, Industrial Testing Programme and Mission Participation Incentive.
The IAP, launched by MTC since 2004, is an off-shore sourcing programme for timber raw materials. The programme is aimed at encouraging the development of small-and medium-enterprises (SMEs) of the timber industry in Peninsular Malaysia that are involved in manufacturing downstream value-added products for both, the domestic and export markets.
“The programme facilitates local timber manufacturers to import timber raw materials by defraying part of the freight and handling charges,” he said, adding that MTC has increased its financial assistance under the IAP in 2018 to encourage more value-added downstream processing by SMEs.
The exchange programme was participated by six suppliers from Chile and two suppliers from Canada. The timber raw materials offered by the suppliers ranged from hardwood and softwood sawntimber to decorative veneer.
A total of 62 participants from 42 Malaysian companies registered for the programme. Representatives from 38 of the Malaysian companies participated in the ‘Business Matching Session’ which followed.
MTC’s effort to organise incoming overseas timber suppliers for business matching was very well-received by the Malaysian participants. The overseas suppliers too reported of having very productive sessions with the local company representatives. As a follow through and extension of this effort, MTC would be organising a Malaysia Wood Mart showcasing and matching suppliers with buyers from Malaysia and across this region in the year 2019.
Also present was the Trade Commissioner of Chile in Malaysia, Ms Ana Belen Bueno Jimenez, who congratulated MTC for organising this programme.