Timber corporation focusing on pushing SMEs, furniture vendors on global market

Wooden furniture made by a local entrepreneur. Photo credit: Pusaka

KUCHING, March 23: Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (Pusaka) aims to nurture 200 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and 65 furniture vendors by 2030.

Pusaka in a statement today said its SME development programme will help at least 30 SMEs and five Bumiputera vendors becoming global market players.

“Sarawak also hopes to nurture and to produce young professional furniture entrepreneurs under the young entrepreneur development programme in realisation of the government’s aspirations to achieve its RM4 billion in export earnings from furniture sector by 2030,” it said.

According to Pusaka, plans are also in the pipeline to establish furniture park in Kuching and Tanjung Manis through collaboration with industry players with the potential to generate RM500 million in investment.

It said a furniture testing lab is also under construction at Kota Samarahan to provide services to local furniture manufacturers and to ensure compliance to global market standards for both local and export markets.

It also said these initiatives are poised to chart a new dimension to help SMEs including the Bumiputera furniture vendors scale new heights and to penetrate export markets.

Aerial view of a site for the proposed furniture park in Kuching. Photo credit: Pusaka

Meanwhile, Pusaka pointed out that based on Sarawak Furniture Industry Association’s (SFIA) data, local furniture manufacturers are struggling with a shortage of raw materials and skilled manpower.

Apart from that, it said, they also have difficulty in securing financing for business expansion.

It added, most upstream timber producers are export-oriented while furniture component parts have to be imported. — DayakDaily