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Malaysia Furniture Export To Strengthen

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia : Malaysia’s export earnings from furniture products are poised to strengthen further with the country continuing to be among the top 10 exporters globally, said Malaysian Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas.

In his opening speech at the Malaysia International Furniture Fair (MIFF) 2015, a furniture trade fair, he said the local furniture industry, which has gained international acceptance over the years, would remain sustainable and competitive going forward reported Bernama Daily. He said the industry should look to expand to new as well as niche markets, with the support of intensive and strategic promotional efforts to market their furniture products.

“The ability to produce high quality, creative and innovative furniture products must be enhanced to attract a wider segment of buyers, to suit the current lifestyles globally,” he said in his speech read by the ministry’s Secretary General Datuk Himmat Singh.

In 2014, Malaysia exported timber and timber products valued at RM20.5 billion, up 5.1 per cent from 2013. Among timber products, furniture contributed export earnings of RM8.01 billion, a hike of 8.8 per cent compared to 2013. Wooden furniture export earnings contributed almost 80 per cent to total furniture export earnings last year.

Uggah also urged furniture industry players to work more closely in order to achieve the RM53 billion export earnings target for timber and timber products by 2020 under the National Timber Industry Policy.

He said furniture industry manufacturers should explore technology intensive manufacturing processes to transform the industry from a labour-intensive to a capital-intensive industry, and to adopt lean manufacturing practices. “The industry needs to shift from massmarket production to one that is more diverse and with higher value added furniture products,” he said.

Uggah also expressed hope that the local furniture industry would continue to produce market-oriented products and build upon international buyers’ confidence in Malaysian products. He said the ministry would continue to facilitate the development of the furniture industry as an exporter of innovatively designed and high value added products.