OPENING CEREMONY SPEECH BY
YAB DATO’ SRI HAJI FADILLAH BIN HAJI YUSOF
MINISTER OF PLANTATION AND COMMODITIES
EXPORT FURNITURE EXHIBITION (EFE) 2023
7 March 2023 (Tuesday)
Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC)
Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh,
A very good afternoon, Salam Sejahtera and Salam Malaysia Madani.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
1. First of all, allow me to record my appreciation to EFE Expo Sdn. Bhd. and the Malaysian Furniture Council (MFC) for inviting me to be here for the opening of the Export Furniture
Exhibition(EFE)2023. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate and commend you on your success in organizing this exhibition , which I am certain will not only benefit the
furniture and timber industry, but which will also elevate Malaysia’s standing as a serious player in the regional and international furniture market.
Ladies and gentlemen,
2. The timber industry is one of the sectors that play an important and significant role in contributing to the economic development of the country. Encompassing the production of sawn timber;
veneer; panel products such as plywood, particleboard, chipboard, and fibreboard; mouldings; builder joinery and carpentry (BJC); as well as furniture and furniture components,
the timber industry spawns under it a host of businesses that form a significant part of Malaysia’s exports.
3. In 2022, the timber industry recorded an export value of RM25.21 billion, which is an increase of 10.61% compared to RM22.74 billion in 2021. In the National Agricommodity Policy
2030 (DAKN 2030), we targeted the export value of timber and timber products at RM28 billion by 2025 and RM32.8 billion by 2030.
4. Malaysia is an important player in the international market for tropical timber and timber products and is also the leading exporter of wooden furniture globally. Wooden furniture products
have contributed an export value of RM11.14 billion in 2022. Malaysian furniture has been successfully exported to more than 160 countries. Among the countries that are the main market for
Malaysian furniture are the United States, Japan, Singapore, Australia and the United Kingdom.
5. Since 1986, the Malaysian furniture industry has undergone rapid expansion. However, the pace of annual growth plateaued in recent years due to stagnating productivity growth and
increased competition from rising Asian furniture powerhouses, such as China and Vietnam. Like other countries, Malaysia was also adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and is still
in the recovery phase after facing various emerging challenges and the altered landscape of trade and the global supply chain.
6. To stay relevant, and to keep pace with constantly evolving markets, the furniture industry in Malaysia requires a production re-examination and reinvention in terms of increasing local
skilled expertise, adopting Industry Revolution 4.0 technologies, and increasing product quality and standardisation. In addition, deep dives into the needs of specific markets would also allow
Malaysian furniture manufacturers to explore untapped demand in niche areas unfulfilled by other producers.
7. On the part of the Government, our efforts towards the development of the national timber and timber product market are by strengthening the commercialization of ‘Made in Malaysia’
brands for the international market, particularly for high-valueadded products. This is in line with the National Agricommodity Policy (DAKN) 2021-2030 which estimated that the export value
of downstream timber products, including furniture in 2025 at RM19 billion, equivalent to 68% of the country’s total timber product exports.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
8. To achieve continued excellence, collaborative efforts between the industry and the relevant Government Ministries and agencies must be developed further. All parties must instil the
notion of fostering greater cooperation towards strengthening the furniture industry for the country. The active participation and commitment by the private sector in this regard and the
successes recorded for the nation are commendable.
9. I would like to encourage further, the endeavours of the industry and give them support in the years to come. I urge the industry to work closely with the Malaysian Timber Industries Board
(MTIB), Malaysia Timber Council (MTC) and other Governmentlinked agencies for the betterment of the furniture industry and the export of furniture segment. I’m certain all of those agencies
are available and ready to render their assistance.
10. I would also like to note the excellent work of the Malaysian Furniture Council which has played an important part in bridging the government with industry players on government policies
and guidelines. As I understand it, its large membership is constantly updated and the continuous engagement of the Council with its members keeps the industry connected and well
informed, which essential in ensuring its continued success.
11. To all the international buyers and visitors present here today, I bid you all a warm welcome to Malaysia and thank you for your visit. I am sure you will find everything you need in this furniture exhibition and won’t be disappointed. I hope that both the manufacturers and suppliers will work closely with you in building long-term relationships and that all sides will continue to prosper in the furniture industry.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
12. Let me once again thank the organizers of EFE 2023 for inviting me to be a part of this occasion. I wish you all an enjoyable and rewarding time at EFE 2023. And on that note, it is with great pleasure that I declare open the Export Furniture Exhibition 2023.
Wabillahitaufik Walhidayah Wassalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh