The Borneo Post (Sabah)

MFC to help furniture industry meet RM12 bln export target


KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Furniture Council (MFC) aims to increase furniture exports to emerging markets, including China, in line with the industry’s aspiration­s to meet an export target of RM12 billion by 2020.

In 2017, furniture exports growth reached a new high with a 6.4 per cent year-on-year increase to RM10.14 billion from RM9.53 billion in 2016, where the US accounted for a 35.4 per cent of total exports.

“Emerging markets such as China, Latin America and Russia are coming up very quickly. China will be one of the biggest furniture importers in the world.

“We have to capitalise on China’s One Belt One Road to create more platforms or connectivi­ty with the country to improve our market,” MFC president, Chua Chun Chai, told reporters on the sidelines of the Export Furniture Exhibition (EFE) 2018 here.

Also present at the exhibition was Malaysia External Trade External Developmen­t Corp (MATRADE) Export Promotion and Market Access Division senior director, Mohd Mustafa Abd Aziz.

The global furniture market is expected to register steady growth due to an expanding middle-income group in major markets like China.

Malaysia’s total furniture exports to China grew significan­tly by 17.3 per cent to RM240.9 million in 2017, compared with RM205.4 million a year earlier. Mohd Mustafa said MATRADE was collaborat­ing closely with MFC to further grow the furniture industry.

“The industry also needs to step up efforts to gradually diversify and shift to original design manufactur­ing or original brand manufactur­ing, which brings more value to exports.

“We have a strategic partnershi­p with MFC, and have taken every initiative to ensure that all industries benefit from activities undertaken by MATRADE.

“We will achieve the RM12 billion mark by 2020, and are aiming for a 6.2 per cent annual growth for the next two to three years,” he added.

A total of 60 foreign buyers from 22 countries, including India, China and Myanmar, were involved in more than 500 pre-arranged business meetings during EFE 2018.

The four-day exhibition is expected to see over 15,000 buyers and visitors from over 140 countries. — Bernama

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