Saturday 25 March 2023

Malaysia eyes $2.4bn timber trade opportunities at Expo 2020

DUBAI, January 25, 2022

The Malaysian Timber Council (MTC) is eyeing some AED8.8 billion ($2.4 billion) in trade opportunities during the Sustainable AgriCommodity Week (Non-Food AgriCommodities) 2022 at the country pavilion in Expo Dubai 2020.
With a robust wood export business that generated $248.9 million last year in the Middle East alone, Malaysia is hoping its timber industry will get the boost at the Expo where it expects to meet potential buyers from around the world, said a top official. 
"We see Expo 2020 Dubai as an important platform to connect Malaysian timber products and services with potential local and international trade partners that will provide further growth opportunities for our timber industry," remarked Muhtar Suhaili, the chief executive of MTC, which is hosting the event along with the Malaysian Timber Industry Board (MTIB) and the Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC).
Among the country’s top export destinations in the region include Yemen, Oman, Iraq, Kuwait and the UAE where it exported some $220.1 million wood products in 2020, he noted.
"In addition to seeking potential trade opportunities, we have organised this event to showcase Malaysia’s initiatives in sustainable practices and innovations in managing its forest resources," added Muhtar.
According to him, Malaysia has always recognised the importance of managing its forest resources responsibly, balancing socio-economic progress with sustainability, in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 2030. 
Its Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) system has been part and parcel of Malaysia’s forestry practices since 1901. 
The country has also firmly kept its commitment, made during the 1992 Rio Summit where nations were admonished to have at least 50% of their total land area under forest cover, he stated. 
Currently, 55.3% of the Malaysia’s land area remains under forest cover. The Malaysian Pavilion itself is inspired by the country’s thriving rainforest ecosystem, incorporating elements of interconnected canopies and a meandering river. 
One of Malaysia’s prized hardwoods, Meranti, was sustainably sourced from a Malaysian forest and used for the construction of the pavilion.
MTIB Director General Mahpar Atan says Malaysia’s efforts to build up its timber industry at Expo Dubai 2020 is an important step in ensuring Malaysia’s competitiveness and in diversifying available opportunities for a wide range of its products and services. 
"For example, Agarwood is high on our agenda at MTIC as we seek to promote this fragrant resinous wood for the perfume industry, especially in the UAE and rest of the region," explained Atan.
The Timber Board will also display wood crafting and engraving using laser-cutting technology in a bid to woo more business to these sectors, as well as highlight Malaysia’s advances and innovation in expanding its timber industry's manufacturing technology through digitalization, he added.
During the event, Muhtar also revealed that their Expo 2020 Dubai participation will put a spotlight on the return of its highly successful Malaysian Wood Expo in Kuala Lumpur this year, an international timber-based and woodworking machinery exhibition that brings together key industry manufacturers, producers and influencers from around the world.-TradeArabia News Service


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