Board to boost Bumi participation in timber-based furniture industry

KUANTAN: The Malaysian Timber Industry Board (MTIB) will continue to strengthen Bumiputera’s participation in the timber-based furniture industry including through the establishment of a new subsidiary, CTCS Worldwide Sdn Bhd (CWSB).

MITB director-general Mohd Kheiruddin Mohd Rani said, CWSB was responsible for exploring local and international markets for Bumiputera timber-based furniture manufacturers.

The board hoped CWSB, which was set up in January would be able to secure contracts amounting to about RM50 million in particular from the Federal government-linked companies (GLCs) and state governments, he said.

“Bumiputera entrepreneurs produced high quality and creative works, but there is no denying that the industry is very competitive. They (Bumiputera entrepreneurs) have their strengths in the field of furniture and timber-based interior decoration such as kitchen and bedroom furnishings.

“CWSB will look for collaborative opportunities such as housing projects where furniture supply contracts can be distributed to selected Bumiputera entrepreneurs,” he told reporters after opening the Pahang Wood-based Furniture and Lifestyle Exhibition here today.

CWSB, according to Mohd Kheiruddin, has also been eyeing opportunities in Perak and Johor, besides looking at possible involvement in housing projects in Pahang, Kelantan and the Philippines.

Exploring more markets in the country he said, would indirectly boost confidence and open up Bumiputera entrepreneurs for more opportunities to penetrate the international market in the future.

“To date, we have 370 Bumiputera-owned companies registered with MTIB and this figure is still small compared to the total of about 3,500 companies in Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah.

“The average timber export over the last 10 years has been between RM20 to RM22 billion, of which the furniture exports alone account for around RM7.7 billion,” he said.

Mohd Kheiruddin also said that MTIB is exploring new sources of raw materials such as bamboo which will be made possible through the Forest Farm Development Programme under the 12th Malaysia Plan. – Bernama