KUCHING, Dec 11 — Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg today said the state has set a target of RM6 billion in the export of furnitures by the year 2030.
He said the state earned about RM43 million from the export of furniture last year, out of RM5.4 billion from the total export of timber products.
“The target of RM6 billion is a tall order but it has to be worked on as part of the plans to transform the timber industry from one that is heavily dependent on the export of primary and secondary timber products to high value-added products,” he said.
He said the state has a set a target of RM10 billion from the export of timber products, including RM6 billion from furniture, by 2030.
He also said Sarawak has to add value to its resources through strategic industries such as forestry.
The chief minister was speaking at the graduation ceremony of a group of Sarawak students under the Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation’s (STIDC) Pool of Young Designers Programme (Poyod) at the Institute Teknologi Bandung (ITB) in Bandung, Indonesia today.
He flew to Bandung yesterday to witness the graduation of the students who had completed their one-year course at ITB in association with Universiti Malaysia Sarawak.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, in his speech, said the state government, through STIDC, is targeting to make readily available 100 young furniture designers by 2030.
He said the young designers will help to spur the growth of the furniture industry in Sarawak by tapping the global market.
He said the Poyod programme is part of a long-term strategic plan of STIDC and the state government to facilitate the transformation of the timber industry into a high value-added industry, especially furnitures, by 2030.
He said the global furniture market was worth US$576 billion in 2018 and is expected to increase further in future supported by growing infrastructural investments and economic growth of various developing nations.
“Much of this growth is expected from Asian countries due to rapidly flourishing consumer market, rising disposal income, changing lifestyles, technological innovations and increasing smart city development worldwide,” he added.