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KUCHING, March 30: STIDC has established collaboration with POLI.design, Milan in Italy to conduct research on local materials in Sarawak as well as collaborate on research and design in efforts to develop the State’s timber industry.
The collaboration was sealed with a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed today via a virtual ceremony between Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (STIDC) which was represented by its general manager Hashim Bojet and POLI.design by its chairman Professor Francesco Zurlo and witnessed by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan.
POLI.design is the post-graduate School in Design of the Politecnico di Milano that supports and completes the curricular paths of the School of Design, aiming at professional training and an effective insertion in the many areas of work in which the designer operates today.
In a media release, Awang Tengah who is also the STIDC Board of Management chairman, pointed out that this MOU is a very important event as it marked the beginning of collaborative efforts which will bring mutual benefits to both parties and countries.
“This effort also marks another milestone for STIDC to intensify its engagement and collaboration with international institutions such as POLI.design in efforts to develop the timber industry.
“The main objective of this MOU is for STIDC and POLI.design to collaborate and conduct research on the local materials that are available in Sarawak and also to work on programmes to increase exposure of Sarawak Young Designers to promote Sarawak’s own brand in Italy and in Europe,” he said.
The Minister of International Trade and Industry also stressed the need to carry out research into the existing availability of a vast range of local materials in Sarawak.
“This data and information gathered and verified through R&D (research and development) process will enable STUDC to establish a Material Lab in Sarawak,” he added.
Awang Tengah emphasised that STIDC has also embarked on research for bamboo and Acacia as raw and alternative materials respectively to complement the furniture industry.
“STIDC is working closely with the private sector to develop the bamboo industry in the whole supply chain for production of bamboo products for export.
“These are among the few materials that STIDC has identified to explore their potential in order to sustain the development of our timber industry,” he said.
Meanwhile, Awang Tengah elaborated that in 2020, Sarawak’s exports to Europe was valued at RM1.2 million mainly in the form of secondary products such as plywood and MDF which accounted for less than one per cent of Sarawak’s total export earnings.
“It is hoped that this collaboration will enable Sarawak to expand its market reach in Europe especially in the furniture sector,” he added.
Assistant Minister International Trade and Industry, Industrial Terminal and Entrepreneur Development Datuk Mohd Naroden Majais was among those present. — DayakDaily