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KOTA KINABALU, Feb 11 -- Sabah’s timber exports grew by 25 per cent year-on-year to RM985 million for the January-November 2021 period, contributing about five per cent to the country’s total timber exports value of RM19.31 billion.
Malaysian Timber Industry Board (MTIB) chairman Datuk Hishamuddin Abdul Karim said the growth was significant despite Malaysia still facing the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Among the issues and challenges to increase the timber sector’s contribution to the nation's exports income is expanding the downstream industry in Sabah as it is rich in the supply of raw materials that can benefit the nation's downstream sector,” he said in a statement in conjunction with his three-day working visit to Sabah beginning today.
Hishamuddin said upstream timber products still dominated Sabah's timber exports, contributing RM946 million compared to downstream products’ RM39 million contribution in the first 11 months of 2021.
According to him, MTIB will ensure that programmes such as the Forest Plantation Development Programme, Bamboo Community Farming Programme and human capital development through MTIB’s training centre, namely the Wood Industry Skills Development Centre, continue to benefit the timber industry.
Hishamuddin said MTIB would forge close cooperations with Sabah state agencies, including the Sabah Forestry Department and Department of Industrial Development and Research, besides industry bodies such as the Sabah Timber Industries Association, Sabah Furniture Association, and Sabah Industry Park Association.
MTIB would also carry out exhibitions for the marketing of wood products for the timber industry in Sabah through Sabah Wood & Lifestyle and participation in HOMEDEC, Sabah International Expo and Borneo Industry Trade exhibitions.
Hishamuddin said product development programmes would continue through collaborations with related parties including the Sabah Handicraft Centre and Artistry Fab Lab for exposure, technical training, incubator development, exhibition and sale of value-added products such as gazebo production and laser-cut technology.
"MTIB hopes that the streamlining of the functions and roles of MTIB Sabah will be able to enhance Sabah's timber industry as well as generating economic growth for the state," he added.
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