Govt plans to allocate RM3 bil for forest plantations
The government plans to allocate RM3 billion for expansion of forest plantations in the country to achieve an area covering 375,000 hectares by 2020, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (pic) said today.
He said the government had so far allocated more than RM600 million for the development of forest plantations in the country.
"This will ensure guaranteed and sustainable source of raw materials. Timber products are environment friendly and contain low carbon footprints compared with other products, like steel, aluminium and PVC," he said at the opening of the Glulam Gallery at Jalan Tampoi, here.
Muhyiddin said the timber industry was one of the important economic sector, contributing RM20 billion in export value or 14.1 per cent of the country's total export, totalling RM141.2 billion last year.
The timber industry had generated an average annual export revenue of RM21.7 billion between 2006 and 2010, and provided employment to almost 300,000 people, he added.
He said furniture were the main timber products that were exported last year, totalling RM6.5 billion or 32.5 per cent of the export on timber products.
"Malaysia is the eighth biggest exporter of furniture in the world, and among the Asian countries, we are the third largest," he added.
As such, he hoped that the Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry would continue with efforts to enhance competitiveness of the country's timber industry through the production of more high-quality timber products.
The deputy prime minister said he was confident that the formulation of the National Timber Industry Policy (NATIP) would also enhance the development of the country's timber industry and achieve the target of RM53 billion in exports by 2020.
On the setting up of the gallery, Muhyiddin, who is also Education Minister, said it was a long-term investment to ensure the sustainability of the country's timber industry.
This gallery was also special, having entered its name in The Malaysia Book of Records as the first building in the country which used tropical wood using the glulam technology, he added.
Also present at the function were Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Tan Sri Bernard Dompok and Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman. – Bernama