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Asia Observatory

05 September 2022


First half 2022 exports encouraging but slower growth anticipated Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities has released export data which shows timber sector exports rose by 14% to RM13.2 billion between January and June 2022, against RM11.59 billion for the same period last year.
The sector’s export value reached RM22.7 billion in 2021 with wooden furniture being the most important component, contributing RM10.4 billion. Malaysian wood-based furniture are exported to more than 160 countries of which the main markets are the United States, Japan, Singapore, Australia, and the United Kingdom.

However, Malaysia’s trade performance is showing signs of a slowdown with uncertainties in the global economic landscape starting to take its toll.
The Borneo Post has quoted a report from the RHB Investment Bank which says the Bank sees signs of slowdown in the growth momentum of exports to major economies. The report says some global indicators point to a slower global growth, for example, the global manufacturing PMI has fallen to a two-year low and the official manufacturing PMI for China has contracted steadily as the country faces sporadic covid lockdowns.
See: Issue of migrant workers wellbeing to be addressed In a press release the Malaysian Timber Council (MTC) has taken a step forward in addressing the risk of forced labor in the timber sector to show its commitment towards human rights and upholding labor standards. A seminar on the effective management of migrant workers, titled “Enhanced Social Compliance Practices in Employment of Migrant Workers in the Malaysian Timber Industry” was addresses by migrant worker rights specialist, Andy Hall, as a keynote speaker together with Arulkumar Singaraveloo, who is the co-founder of the Malaysia Human Right Forum. “The issue of migrant workers and their well-being is of concern to the MTC said MTC CEO Muhtar Suhaili. Andy Hall said “this seminar was an important step forward for the Malaysian timber industry. Challenges revolving around migrant workers welfare and prevention of forced labor will increasingly become mandatory for doing business globally.”
See: t.pdf Strengthening cooperation on SFM The Sabah media has reported that the State government plans to amend the Forest Enactment 1968 Act to ensure the State’s forestry legal framework is in line with the National Forestry Act (APN) 1984 which was passed by the central government recently. Sabah Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor, said the proposed amendment covers several aspects including climate change issues, mitigation through carbon trading and biodiversity conservation. He said the change would strengthen cooperation between holders of Sustainable Forest Management License Agreements and the state government. “Amendments to APN 1984 aim to increase protection of permanent forest in Malaysia and have outlined strict conditions for degazetting (changing land_use) for any permanent forest reserves in Peninsular Malaysia.

For more information contact ITTO: ITTO: Int’l Tropical Timber Organization
JP 2020-0012 NISHI-KV, Yokohama / Japan
Ph. +81 45 2231110
Fax+ 81 45 2231111