Muar the furniture export hub
The long-term target under the National Timber Industry Policy launched in 2009 is to achieve exports of wood and wood products worth RM53 billion by 2020 and RM16 billion of export value for the furniture industry with value-added achievement of at least 60% to reach the premium level.
Wooden furniture is the largest item in Malaysia’s export of timber products in 2015. The value of wooden furniture rose 14.5% year-on-year to RM7.29 billion in 2015. Malaysia ranks eighth among furniture exporters in the world. Muar is the largest furniture export district in Malaysia, accounting for 50% of the country’s furniture exports.
“If we achieve 12% growth every year , we can achieve RM16 billion in furniture export value by 2020,” said Wee.
Exports of major timber products in the first six months of 2016 totalled RM10.92 billion with the highest value coming from wooden furniture (RM3.60 billion), followed by plywood (RM2.24 billion) and sawn timber (RM1.63 billion).
Many countries have increased the use of wood as the most environmentallyfriendly material, which augurs well for Malaysian timber product manufacturers. However, stiff competition from other tropical product producers worldwide will always be a challenge for Malaysia. The biggest competitors currently are China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Brazil and some African countries.