Monday, June 17

Shortage of raw materials hinders furniture industry

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KUCHING: The shortage of raw materials must be resolved before progress could be made in the Sarawak furniture industry.

The Sarawak Furniture Industry Association’s (SFIA) president Lai King Min said this at the opening ceremony of ‘Furniture and Home Expo 2012’ at Bukit Mata exhibition hall yesterday.

He added the Sarawak furniture industry is very much behind West Malaysia and Sabah in the export market.

“Why is it so difficult to expand the furniture industry in Sarawak? Although Sarawak is a leading producer of timber, most of these timbers are exported to other countries.

“What remains is a very limited supply of raw material, most of which are low-grade timber which fail to reach the standard for the furniture making,” he
said.

He said the state furniture industry faces difficulties in obtaining sufficient quantity of good timber. So, Sarawak contributes less than 0.5 per cent of the country’s furniture export despite being the largest log exporter in Malaysia.

“I believe if the right timber resources are available here, the local furniture manufacturers would have the opportunity to showcase their skills and develop the industry,” he said.

It is not too late for Sarawak to embark on the development of the furniture industry. Transparent, short, medium and long term policies have to be implemented so that investors are aware of the state’s objectives for the furniture industry. It will encourage investors to venture into the furniture industry, he added.

This is the second Furniture and Home Expo organised by the SFIA. Last year’s event consisted of 120 booths and attracted 8,000 visitors.

This year’s expo has 150 booths and expects no less than 10,000 visitors.

It has gone to the extent of putting up canopies at the outside car park to accommodate more booths. Participating companies are showcasing their latest and exciting products.

DJ from MY FM will be there on Saturday to run shows and games. The public are urged not to miss this opportunity to visit the expo, which started yesterday and ends on Sunday (July 8).

There will be a lucky draw every two hours throughout the expo. Every RM500 spent will entitle the buyer to a draw ticket and a chance to win. The grand prize is a 40-inch TV.