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Malaysian timber industry eyeing Indian market for deeper penetration

Malaysian timber industry eyeing Indian market for deeper penetration

New Delhi, Aug 28 (UNI) Fast urbanisation growth of the real estate sector and expanding middle class with increasing per capita income have contributed over the years to make India a potential market for the Malaysian timber industry, experts and Malaysian officials have said here.

However, despite abundant raw materials for wooden products in the rich wilds of north east and other parts of the country, India's position as a producer of timber products and other tropical products have not improved.

According to assessment by Malaysian experts, despite doing well the Malaysia timber business face 'big competitors' such as China, Vietnam, some African countries and even Brazil.

Malaysian exports of major timber products essentially range into three segments, - wooden furniture, followed

by plywood and sawn timber.

At a presentation here, Khairul Anwar, Director of Bengaluru-based Malaysian Timber Council (MTC)

says the long-term target under the National Timber Industry Policy launched in 2009 is to achieve higher exports of wood and wood products by 2020.

MTC is a government initiated body that acts as the bridge between timber companies in Malaysia and importers from other countries around the world to match the needs of customers to suppliers, he says, adding more recently an MTC office has been set up in Bangalore to add India to its list of overseas operation.

The MTC otherwise has offices in London in United Kingdom, Dubai in UAE and also China.

According to reports, Malaysia’s timber sector is the biggest investors in tree planting. In the last decade or so, the government has initiated the Forest Plantation Development Programme to ensure sustained timber supply for downstream business.

Mr Anwar says that number of high end products and wood based works from Malaysia have found 'respectable' use in posh hotels and such structures in countries like Mauritius and the Maldives.

India remains a growing market even as Malaysia’s timber are currently shipped to more than 160 countries.

There is huge demand of Malaysian timber products in Europe.

The Netherlands has lately emerged Malaysia's second largest trading partner in timber after the United Kingdom, sources said.

UNI DEVN SV 0831

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