09/03/2023 06:08 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, March 9 (Bernama) -- The value of work contracts that have been finalised from loans approved by the Malaysian Timber Industry Board (MTIB) stood at RM197.5 million from 2012 to 2022, said the Ministry of Plantation and Commodities (MPIC).

its Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof said a total of 139 loan approvals were disbursed by MTIB to 42 companies with a total loan value of RM29.4 million over the 10-year period.

“MTIB provides a raw material support programme, which is a revolving fund amounting to RM16 million, as an interest-free loan to enable Bumiputera entrepreneurs to procure raw materials in the manufacture of furniture and high value-added products.

“This funding is given to Bumiputera entrepreneurs who have a work contract that has been finalised and is still in effect,” Fadillah, who is also Deputy Prime Minister, said in his speech at the launch of the Wood & Lifestyle Fair, here today.

MTIB had been organising the exhibition in several states, such as Kuala Lumpur, Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, Melaka and Sabah, annually since it was launched in 2016.

Through the exhibition, Bumiputera entrepreneurs have managed to generate sales of up to RM52.5 million, which is almost 10 times the returns until last year, said Fadillah.

"However, Bumiputera participation in the timber industry is still limited, only contributing less than 1.0 per cent of the total export of wood and wood products in 2022.

"The number of Bumiputera entrepreneurs is also small, involving 524 entrepreneurs. I understand that almost 66.8 per cent of Bumiputera entrepreneurs are in the small or micro-sized enterprise category,” he said.

In that regard, Fadillah said his ministry, through its agency MTIB, strives to increase the competitiveness and involvement of Bumiputera in the timber industry through core policies and strategies outlined under the National Agricommodity Policy (DAKN) (2021-2030) and the National Timber Industry Strategic Plan (NTISP) (2021-2025).

DAKN is targeting a 71 per cent increase in Bumiputera involvement in the timber industry, which is as many as 600 Bumiputera companies in 2030 at the middle and downstream levels, he said.

While NTISP aims to exceed Bumiputera timber products by 10 per cent in the local market and 5.0 per cent in the international market by 2025, the minister added.




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