Industry tipped to recover by year end

Awang Tengah (fourth right) witnessing the presentation of a timber marking tool from STIDC general manager Hashim Bojet (fourth left) to Forest Department deputy director Jack Liam.

KUCHING: The local timber industry is tipped to return as a major contributor to Sarawak’s economy by the end of the year.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan hoped that with wider Covid-19 vaccinations worldwide, 2021 would be a better year for all business sectors as the world began to open up its borders.

“With hard work and cooperation from all parties, it is hoped that by the end of 2021, the timber industry will be able to rise again,” he said when officiating at the Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (STIDC) special assembly today.

He said STIDC would continue to facilitate more foreign investments for the local timber industry as part of its effort to fast track the growth of high value-added industry utilising planted timber and non-forest timber products.

To effectively play its role in the timber industry, STIDC needed to strengthen its financial position, he stressed.

“STIDC is proposing to implement a Business Turnaround Plan (BTP) to enhance existing income stream, streamline cost structure and explore new sources of revenue

“At the same time, it must continue to enhance its competence, integrity, commitment and teamwork amongst its staff. This is necessary to ensure STIDC will be able to continue delivering excellent services to all our stakeholders,” added Awang Tengah.

The deputy chief minister congratulated the corporation for developing a good system to provide services to the industry online to ensure its key services remain unaffected during Covid-19.

“In addition, other services such as virtual exhibitions, workforce data and systems for online training or seminars should also be provided. It will reduce the costs of doing business for the industry,” he explained.