KUCHING: The export value of the state’s timber products increased by one per cent in the first half of the year versus that registered in the same period last year.
Second Resource Planning and Environment Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan said the export value of the commodity from January to June this year was RM3.66 billion against RM3.61 billion recorded in corresponding first-half of last year.
“This shows that the export value of our timber products has recorded an increase by one per cent, or RM54 million, compared with last year,” he told reporters during a Hari Raya gathering hosted by Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (STIDC) at Wisma Sumber Alam in Petra Jaya here yesterday.
He said that plywood was the main export product, commanding 54 per cent of total export value for the period under review, or RM1.98 billion.
According to him, the key market for the state’s timber products was Japan with an export value of RM1.548 billion, which was equivalent to 40 per cent of the state’s total revenue from the export of the commodity.
India came after Japan, recording a total export value of RM702 million, followed by Taiwan (RM379 million) and Korea (RM253 million). Combined, the total revenue from these three countries amounted to RM1.334 billion.
With such a positive outlook, Awang Tengah believed that timber players could look forward to a better business going forward.
“We see the increase in export value of our timber products in the first six months of this year as positive sign for the industry, despite the unstable global economy.”
Awang Tengah said besides existing markets, the state was trying its best to explore into other areas such as the Middle East, Yaman and Vietnam.
“We will continue to promote our logs and other timber products. For example, we visited Kazakhstan last year, which is totally a new market. We want to really explore the opportunities there.
“Apparently, its good opportunity for our timber and timber products but we have to look into the entry point as we all know Kazakhstan is a land-locked nation in Eastern Europe,” he said.
He also disclosed that a memorandum of understanding (MoU) had already been signed with Kazakhstan, although both parties were still looking into issues pertaining to logistics.
Among those present at the gathering yesterday were Awang Tengah’s wife Datuk Dayang Morliah Awang Daud, STIDC general manager Datu Sarudu Hoklai, Assistant Environment Minister Datu Len Talif Salleh, Assistant Minister for Industrial Estate Development Datuk Peter Nansian Ngusie and Assistant Minister for Investment and Promotion Datuk Julaihi Narawi.