The Malaysian Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities, Douglas Uggah Embas, has urged furniture manufacturers to work together and promote Malaysian furniture so that the 2020 target of RM53 billion (approx. US$12.9 billion) export earnings can be achieved.
Malaysia's timber and timber product exports rose by 6.3 per cent to RM21.7 billion (approx. US$ 5.3 billion) in 2015 from RM20.4 billion in 2014.
Chua Chu Chai, Chairman of Export Furniture Exhibition 2016 (EFE), recommended that Malaysian furniture manufacturers should explore markets for solid wood furniture in China as consumers there appreciate solid wood furniture and China's consumption is expected to grow by five to six per cent this year.
Chua was speaking as he promoted the EFE 2016, a fourday exhibition themed 'Fine Furniture World Market'.
Expanding chip and particleboard production
As a sign of growing optimism, a major Malaysian producer of particleboard and particleboard based products, HeveaBoard, announced plans to invest RM 20 million (approx. US$ 4.9 million) to increase capacity.
HeveaBoard utilises rubberwood residues and has subsidiaries producing downstream Ready-to-Assemble furniture manufacturing and other panel products.
In 2015 Heveaboard exported about 80% of its particleboard production mainly to China, Japan, South Korea, India. Most RTA items are for Japan, Europe, Australia and the United States.