Sarawak makes RM1.42 billion in timber exports in first quarter


KUCHING: Sarawak earned RM1.42 billion in timber and timber product exports in the first three months of this year.

Deputy Chief Minister Awang Tengah Ali Hassan said Sarawak’s export of wooden furniture increased by 5% to RM11.16 million in the first quarter of this year from RM10.66 million in the same period last year.

The Borneo Post quoted him as saying that Japan remained the largest buyer of timber and timber products from the state, accounting for 42% or RM592 million of the overall export earnings.

This was followed by India (15% – RM213 million), South Korea (10% – RM146 million) and the Middle East (8% – RM112 million), he said at the 3rd Sarawak Timber and SMEs Expo at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching here yesterday.

“Plywood, log, sawn timber and medium density fibreboard are the major products exported,” he said.

On the increase in the export of wooden furniture, Awang Tengah said: “This positive trend augurs well for the future growth and export of furniture from Sarawak.”

The timber industry, he said, would continue to be a significant contributor to the state’s socio-economic growth in years to come.

On the expo, Awang Tengah said the organisers hoped to achieve total sales of RM120 million this year with a wider range of exhibitors and better products displayed.

Themed ‘Timber and Beyond’, the expo was organised by the Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation and the Sarawak Ministry of Industrial and Entrepreneur Development in conjunction with the state-level SME Week 2017.

About 280 exhibitors have taken a total of 494 booths at the expo.

“This is a trade and consumer fair that serves as a platform for the local timber industry, players and SMEs to enhance networking and promote trade and sale of their products,” Awang Tengah was quoted as saying by The Borneo Post.