KUCHING: Sarawak aspires to achieve its targeted export earnings of RM10 billion by 2030 in terms of primary and secondary timber products, said Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan.
The Minister of Industrial and Entrepreneur Development said the state recorded RM7 billion in export earnings last year.
“Sarawak’s export of wooden furniture registered an increase of 18 per cent to RM20 million in the first five months of this year, from RM17 million in the same period last year.
“This positive trend augurs well for future growth and export of furniture from Sarawak,” he said before Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg launched the Sarawak Timber and SMEs Expo 2019 and Sarawak Design Conference and Expo 2019 at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching here yesterday.
Awang Tengah said the Sarawak government is in the midst of reviewing its forestry and timber industry policies in order to sustain the growth of the sector.
Among the policies are Log Quota Reservation Policy, relaxation on importation of logs to encourage production of high value-added products for exports, to encourage the development of downstream industry and introduce incentives for the usage of automation and high technology in the manufacturing of timber products.
According to him, SMEs are the backbone of the state’s economy, given that they represent 98.5 per cent of the total business establishments in Sarawak.
He said the full potential of SMEs must be harnessed in order for Sarawak to achieve a high income economy.
“Sarawak has a relatively small market and therefore going regional and global is necessary to ensure long-term sustainability of the SMEs.
“It is timely for Sarawak SMEs to spread their wings and tap into a bigger customer base through e-commerce and digital platforms. SMEs must grow big and become global players through adoption of modern technologies, creativity and innovation,” he added.
Awang Tengah said three local furniture brands by three manufacturers who had participated in the Pool of Young Designers (Poyod) training programme were also launched at the event.
He added that the brands were RETA by Samling, Starhome by Shin Yang and GWI by Giovanni Wood Industries Sdn Bhd.
“This is a positive development for the furniture industry in the state so as to position itself in the global market.”
He hoped that more companies would take the initiative to create their own product branding and participate in the Poyod training programme, developed by the Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (STIDC).
At the launch, Abang Johari also witnessed the signing of memorandums of understanding (MoUs) between timber companies and their respective trading partners.
Among them were KTS Trading Sdn Bhd and Green Pellet Sarawak Sdn Bhd that focus on the feasibility of raw material supply to pellet mill. Representing KTS was deputy managing director Temenggong Dato Vincent Lau and Green Pellet was represented by its director Nicholas Andrew Lissem.
(Taken from The Borneo Post)