November 27, 2012
KUCHING: The state timber industry has experienced encouraging export growth from January to September this year, said Second Resource Planning and Environment Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan.
Awang Tengah said during the period, the total export value of timber products had increased three per cent to RM5.54 billion compared to RM5.4 billion in the same period in 2011.
He said the growth in timber export was driven by increasing demand from consumer countries such as Middle East, South Korea, China, Philippines and India.
“For the Middle East market, the export value had increased 92 percent from RM274 million for the period from January to September 2011 to RM526 million for the same period this year.
“The export value to South Korea had also increased 37 percent from RM343 million to RM471 million in the same period,” Awang Tengah said during his winding-up speech for his ministry yesterday.
However, he said the export value to Japan, the primary importer of the state’s timber products, had shrunk 10 percent from RM2.29 billion for the same period in 2011 to RM2.07 billion.
Awang Tengah said the major timber products exported by the state during the period were plywood, sawn timber, veneer, fibreboard and timber.
He stated that the state government would continue with its efforts to strengthen global demand for timber products from the state.
“Among the steps that had been continuously taken are holding market promotional activities such as sales and investment mission overseas, participating in international exhibition as well as taking part in trade negotiations,” Awang Tengah said.
He stated that this was important to ensure the timber industry in the state would be competitive globally and continue to be the main contributor to the socio-economic development of the state.
“For the information of this Dewan, the total log production from Sarawak’s Permanent Forest estate (PFE) is about eight million cubic metres a year, which is only six percent of the total world tropical log production of 136 million cubic metres per year.
The export from Sarawak is only 2.4 percent of the overall world tropical timber production,” Awang Tengah noted.
He said data showed that the forestry sector and timber industry in the state were well managed and sustainable.
On another matter, Awang Tengah said the Natural Resources and Environmental Board (NREB) had received 493 Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) reports from January 2009 to Oct 31 this year, adding that out of the amount of reports received, NREB had approved 417 reports.
“As of Oct 31, 2012, a total of 769 post-EIA monitoring visits had been conducted by NREB and it was found that the compliance level by the project developers was satisfactory.
“A total of 122 letters of instruction were issued to the project developers for cases which did not comply with the EIA approval conditions, instructing them to improve their sites,” he added. – http://www.theborneopost.com.