Furnishing Malaysia with Exciting Diversity and Unlimited Opportunities:
The furniture sector is one of the few industries in Malaysia that can proudly stand out for its products as truly "Made-in-Malaysia". This is attributable to the fact that the Malaysian timber raw materials, especially rubber wood, are sourced locally by Malaysian furniture producers. Compared to some of our major exports in the form of crude or semi-furnished products, we managed to export our furniture as end-user products.
For more than two decades, the Malaysian furniture industry has our commendably thrived because of its strong downstream sector. Today, Malaysia is among the world's 10 furniture exporters. In the first nine months of last year, furniture manufacturers contributed some RM5.9 billion to the nation's total export earnings.
The global furniture market is expected to grow between 3% and 5% annually over the next five years. With market gravity shifting towards the Asia Pacific region, Malaysian furnitrue manufacturers can look forward to enjoying a much larger slice of the market share. Against such backdrop, the outlook for the Malaysian furniture industry is certainly bright.
The merger of the two national-level organisations -- the Malaysian Furniture Industry Council (MFIC) and the Malaysian Furniture Entrepreneur Association (MFEA) -- last year is a positive development for the industry. Through the merger, a new entity known as the Malaysian Furniture Council (MFC) was set up on 20th September 2014. By consolidating the views and strengths of all industry players, the Council can now embark on a long-term, holistic approach to enhance the future development of the industry.
The Council's founding president and committees see the industry's future direction in a different perspective: that is, going beyond the current state of thriving and prosperity, the real challenge is about how to share the success of the industry with all Malaysians, regardless of ethnic backgrounds and geographical locations. In return, the Council wants the responsibility to safeguard the industry and to improve our global position to be shared by all Malaysians, from both the private and public sectors.
Going forward, we have conceptualized a five-year plan known as Furnishing Malaysia with Exciting Diversity and Unlimited Opportunities (2016 - 2020). The plan should be finalized by the end of this year and will address and focus on the following key aspects:-
- Renewed efforts in traditional markets;
- Coordinated strategies for the emerging markets;
- Promoting diversity as a competitive edge;
- Improving sustainability and variety of raw materials;
- Striking a balance between technology, innovation and human resources skills; and
- Serving small players and society
I strongly believe that with the right mindset and commitment from all furniture industry stakeholders, we will be able to accomplish our goals and take the industry to greater heights in the next five years.
On the note, I urge every member of the MFC to extend their fullest coorperation towards ensuring the successful implementation of the programmes outlined for the five-year plan.
Finally, let's us all take great pride in our contribution to the nation's socio-economic growth and vision towards attaining the developed status by 2020.
Chua Chun Chai
President, Malaysia Furniture Council