Sarawak’s furniture industry seeks Indonesian investors, says Awg Tengah

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Awang Tengah (second right) and officials from Sarawak and Indonesia examine one of the furniture designs on display.

KUCHING (Dec 7): Investors from Indonesia are welcome to invest in Sarawak’s furniture industry or any other timber related industries, said Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan.

The Minister of International Trade, Industry and Investment said this could either be on their own or through joint ventures or partnership with local companies.

“Sarawak, like Indonesia, is able to produce furniture with creative designs inspired by the combination of various cultures and local traditions using wood materials of various unique and exotic species. Therefore, Sarawak and Indonesia are very suitable as a ‘design hub’ in this region,” he said at the closing of the Sarawak Young Designers (SayD’Signers) programme in Bandung, Indonesia on Tuesday.

He handed over certificates to programme participants on behalf of Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

The programme was jointly run by the Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (STIDC) in collaboration with Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) and Fakultas Seni Rupa dan Desain (FSRD) of Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB).

Awang Tengah said Sarawak plans to develop furniture parks in Kuching and Tanjung Manis to help the development of the local furniture industry and to attract investment.

He said this is in line with the Post Covid-19 Development Strategy (PCDS) 2030, whereby the forestry sector will focus on downstream industries with high value-added products such as engineered wood and furniture.

“Through PCDS 2030, Sarawak aims to achieve an annual export value of timber products including furniture products of RM8 billion per year by 2030,” he said.

Sarawak’s timber industry is the fourth most important export commodity sector after petroleum and petroleum products, gas and liquefied natural gas (LNG) and palm oil, he said.

He pointed out that Sarawak, which is rich in sustainably managed tropical forest resources, is able to produce wood products including furniture that can support its position as one of the largest producers in the export market.

“Sufficient material resources will undoubtedly support the implementation of the SayD’Signers programme and encourage the continuous production of quality wood products. In relation to this, Sarawak is focusing on forest products from industrial forests, bamboo cultivation and at the same time reducing dependence on natural forests,” he said.

He pointed out that a report issued by Research and Market USA 2022 showed the value of the world furniture market would be US$945 billion a year by 2030 compared to only US$637 billion a year in 2021.

“While the market for bamboo products, including bamboo furniture, is worth US$6.9 billion a year in 2022. The value of this market is expected to increase to US$12.4 billion a year in 2032 based on a report by Future Market Insights Global and Consulting. This clearly shows the potential for the furniture product market is very broad,” he said.

Awang Tengah, who is Second Minister of Natural Resources and Urban Development, said the Sarawak government also plans to boost joint border development between Indonesian Kalimantan and Sarawak, such as Tebedu-Entikong, Biawak-Aruk, and Ba’ Kelalan-Long Midang.

“We also encourage closer B to B (business-to-business) collaboration between both sides,” he added.