KUCHING, Nov 16: Sarawak has exported RM4.61 billion worth of wood products so far this year.
Second Minister of Urban Development and Natural Resources Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan said nearly 90 per cent or RM4.13 billion of the total was contributed by four main products — plywood worth RM2.47 billion, timber worth RM936 million, sawn timber worth RM595 million and veneer worth RM135 million.
“The five major markets for Sarawak’s timber products comprised Japan, India, Korea, Middle East and Taiwan, which contributed a total export value of RM3.76 billion,” he said when delivering his winding-up speech in the State Legislative Assembly today.
Compared to the same period in 2016, the export value of timber products in Sarawak has increased by 4.7 per cent from RM4.41 billion to RM4.61 billion.
Meanwhile, the state government through Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (STIDC), has developed and implemented a long term strategic plan for timber industry transformation (2015-2030).
The plan is to transform the current timber industry structure from being heavily dependent on primary and secondary-based timber to a tertiary industry focusing on the development of furniture and value added products.
Among the ongoing activities to realise the plan are the setting up of a timber trading centre as a platform to distribute raw materials required by the SMEs and furniture manufacturers, the Anchor Programme, the setting up of a furniture testing lab in Kota Semarahan and the establishment of a programme to cultivate a pool of young furniture designers as well as the proposal to establish furniture villages.
Currently, major timber operators such as Samling Group of Companies, RH Group of Companies, Ta Ann Group of Companies and Shin Yang Group of Companies are already involved in the manufacturing of furniture.
In addition, the state government has increased the log quota from 70 per cent to 80 per cent of log production to supplement the need for sufficient supply of raw materials for the downstream industry. — DayakDaily