KUALA LUMPUR: The export of Malaysian timber is expected to increase five per cent this year from RM21.86 billion in 2016, supported by demand from India, said Plantation Industries and Commodities Deputy Minister Datuk Datu Nasrun Datu Mansur.
He said the export value of sawn timber, plywood and medium density fibreboard to India recorded an increase of more than 25 per cent last year compared to 2015.
“This has prompted the establishment of a regional Malaysian Timber Council (MTC) office in the south Indian city of Bangalore.
“The office, expected to be up and running by June 2017, will play a major role in further facilitating and increasing Malaysia’s export of timber and timber products to India,” Nasrun told reporters after the opening of the MTC Marketing Seminar 2017 yesterday.
He said the office will also serve as a gateway for Malaysian exporters to tap India’s growing market as well as penetrate it’s highly populated neighbours such as Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
Besides India, Japan, which is the biggest importer of Malaysian timber at RM3.73 billion last year, and comprising mainly veneers, fibreboards, and chipboards.
The timber industry is a major contributor to the nation’s export earnings.
Timber and timber products accounted for 17.92 per cent of the total export earnings by the commodities sector and 2.78 per cent of Malaysia’s total export earnings in 2016.