Sarawak’s northern region leads in timber-product export value

Naroden (fifth from right) with guests at STIDC’s 45th anniversary dinner in Miri on Tuesday (Oct 16).

By Jaythaleela K

MIRI, Oct 17: The northern region of Sarawak continues to contribute the most in terms of export of timber products in the first eight months of this year.

From January to August, the export value from the northern territory totaled RM2.3 billion, which is 65 per cent of the state’s total export value of timber products.

The amount speaks volumes of the strength of the timber industry players in the northern region, said Assistant Minister of E-Commerce Datuk Mohd Naroden Majais.

Topping the chart is plywood with RM800 million, followed by timber (RM300 million) and sawn timber (RM265 million).

Naroden revealed that the Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (STIDC) had several activities in mind to strengthen the timber industry in the northern region.

This includes promoting the use of Acacia species for furniture products in partnership with the Samling Group through the creation of `Acacia House’, reducing dependency on natural timber through forest plantation, and creating more collaborations with the industry players to ensure the success of the timber-industry transformation plan.

The state government is also encouraging the timber industry players to increase the value of wood products using innovative ways.

“These planning and implementation are to ensure the sustainability of raw material resources,” he said at STIDC’s 45th anniversary dinner here on Tuesday.

On the downturn in the global economy, Naroden told the guests present that it had affected the state, too. In the first eight months of this year, the state’s export of timber exports products decreased by 14.19 per cent to RM3.6 billion. It was RM4 billion during the same period last year.

Meanwhile, STIDC general manager Hashim Bojet assured that the corporation would continue to be responsive and sensitive to the ever-changing issues and needs of its stakeholders.

He, therefore, urged all of his staff to equip themselves with knowledge and skills to stay at the forefront in the timber development industry.

STIDC was set up in 1973 to be the ‘manager’ and ‘planner’ of the state’s timber industry. It’s Miri office was created in 1981.

Also present at the gathering were Lambir assemblyman Ripin Lamat, STIDC deputy general manager Dayang Nena Abang Bruce, STIDC Northern Region acting deputy manager Dahrawi Muhammad and about 200 industry players and stakeholders. — DayakDaily