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Domestic market vital to sustain Timber’s Industry’s growth

Posted on: May 31, 2009

Bernama – Thursday, May 28

KUALA LUMPUR, May 28 (Bernama) — Greater use of timber in the domestic market, especially in construction activities, is vital to sustain growth of the timber industry this year.

In stating this, Malaysian Timber Industry Board (MTIB) deputy director-general Osman Kasim said with economic growth, domestic consumption of primary timber products has increased to RM7.6 billion so far this year and was still growing.

He was speaking at a seminar on “Opportunities and Prospects for Timber and Timber Products in the Domestic Market” here today.

The timber industry contributed RM22.79 billion in export earnings last year from RM22.76 billion in 2007, with Malaysia becoming the world’s second largest exporter of plywood.

Osman said the global financial turmoil resulted in weakening demand, falling prices and cancellation of orders for Malaysian timber and timber products but the decline is expected to bottom out towards end this year.

He said to sustain growth of the industry, the Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry has outlined the direction of the timber industry up to 2020 through the National Timber Industry Policy.

According to him, the policy is expected to provide impetus for the development of the timber industry to ensure its sustainable growth, both in the international and domestic markets.

The seminar is aimed at promoting and increasing awareness on the opportunities available in the domestic trade of timber and timber products, particularly in the construction and furniture sectors.

The government has taken various steps to help the industry to address the expected weaker demand in the world market, including announcing a second stimulus package of RM60 billion in March this year, Osman said.

On the domestic front, MTIB together with the industry has drawn up a promotion programme to promote greater use of Malaysian timber and timber products, he said. — BERNAMA



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