Sarawak aims to export furniture worth RM6 billion by 2030

Abang Johari (third left) accompanied by Awang Tengah (second left) trying out a bamboo violin produced by the students of ITB.

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KUCHING, Dec 11: Sarawak has set the target of exporting RM6 billion worth of furniture by 2030.

The target was set by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg who said it was Sarawak’s aim to export RM10 billion in timber products including furniture by 2030.

“Out of the RM10 billion target, RM6 billion is to be derived from the export of furniture,” said Abang Johari at the keynote address during the graduation ceremony of Institute Teknologi Bandung (ITB) at Bandung, Indonesia today.

Abang Johari said in 2018, total export earnings from timber products was RM5.4 billion. Of the total, the export of furniture was only worth RM43 million or 0.8 per cent.

“The target was a tall order but it has to be worked on as part of the plan to transform the timber industry from one that has been heavily dependent on the export of primary and secondary timber products to high value-added products,” he said.

Apart from being the keynote speaker, Abang Johari flew to Bandung yesterday to witness the graduation of a pioneer group of Sarawak’s young furniture designers who attended ITB under Pool of Young Designers Programme (Poyod) of Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation’s (STIDC).

The chief minister expressed confidence that the Poyod programme would help to spur innovation and creativity in design that is important for the growth of the furniture industry in Sarawak.

He was happy to note that since the programme’s implementation in 2018, it has successfully generated potential sales worth RM200 million following Poyod’s participation in international exhibitions with the new designs in India, Australia and Dubai.

The orders based on the new and elegant designs had opened new markets for companies that participated in the training programme, he added.

Also present were Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan who is also the Second Minister for Urban Development and Resources, Assistant Minister for International Trade and Industry Datuk Mohd Naroden Majais who is also Assistant Minister for Industrial Terminal and Entrepreneur Development, as well as Assistant Minister of Urban Planning, Land Administration and Environment, Datu Len Talif Salleh. —DayakDaily