Timber players told to get certification

Awang Tengah

KUCHING: State government’s forest timber licensees have been reminded to acquire the Forest Management Certification (FMC) by 2022, said Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan.

“The Sarawak government will continue to enhance the implementation of the Sarawak Timber Legality Verification System (SLTVS) and FMC to comply with international requirements. 

“We have now allowed third-party verification to ensure our credibility and market acceptance,” he said during a Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (STIDC) special assembly today.

Awang Tengah said the timber industry is now facing many challenges, especially with the current global economic and geopolitical uncertainties.

“These are further compounded by anti-dumping/anti-subsidy initiatives imposed by consuming countries, and strong competition from other producers such as Indonesia, Vietnam and China,” he said.

The deputy chief minister said at the domestic front, declining production from natural forest and increasing cost of production in the upstream have further impacted the competitiveness of the local timber industry

He said the production of logs from natural and planted forests had declined from 5.73 million cubic metres in 2019 to 4.33 million cubic metres in 2020, affecting the global plywood market share. 

“Sarawak’s export of plywood to Japan had declined from RM2.11 billion in 2019 to RM1.97 billion in 2020. As a result, we lost to Indonesia as the number one plywood supplier to Japan.

“STIDC’s main role is to spearhead the development of timber industry in the state and to ensure that the timber industry will continue to contribute to the socio-economic development of Sarawak,” he added.