KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 2): The Import Assistance Programme (IAP) under the Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities (KPPK) allocated funds worth RM11.6 million up to June 30, 2022, benefitting 262 companies.
Its minister Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin said through the programme, timber importers were given aid for logistical costs in the importation of timber raw materials to Malaysia.
“The programme implemented under the Malaysian Timber Council (MTC) provided maximum annual assistance between RM70,000 and RM115,000 to each company, subject to terms and conditions,” she told the Dewan Rakyat today, in response to queries from Yeo Bee Yin (PH-Bakri) on the government’s efforts to help the furniture industry in the country post-Covid-19.
KPPK, via the Malaysian Timber Industry Board (MTIB), also provided a loan programme for the sector to buy raw materials, she added.
“Loans between RM20,000 and RM1,000,000 in accordance with the cost of timber raw materials are provided with repayment after three to six months,” she said.
Financial aid is also provided to timber product exporters under the Export Assistance Programme (EAP) to help them cope with the surge in sea transportation costs due to the pandemic.
“Financial aid worth a maximum RM15,000 was provided to companies which qualified. Up to June 30 2022, RM2.21 million had been allocated, benefitting 189 companies,” she added.
KPPK, through MTC, continues to encourage timber industry companies to expand their overseas markets through participation in expos and trade missions.
“Focus is given to markets in the United States, Middle East, Asean and Oceania to enable the expansion of the domestic timber products industry.
“The ministry also gives subsidies for their participation in expos such as the Malaysian International Furniture Fair (MIFF), Export Furniture Fair (EFE), Ecobuild South East Asia, Malaysia International Renovation Expo (REX), Expo 2020 Dubai, Archidex and many more,” Zuraida said.
The minister also revealed that a branding promotion programme by her ministry has been implemented, helping to promote the brands of ten companies through social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Youtube dan TikTok. – Bernama