Yang Berbahagia, Dato Eric Lee Kong Sim
President of KL & Selangor Furniture Association (KSFA);
Mr Richard Ko Liang Joo,
Chief Executive Committee of SIFC;
Mr Khoo Yeow Chong,
President of Malaysian Furniture Council (MFC);
Yang Berbahagia Tan Sri Dato Sri Barry Goh,
Founder & Chairman of B&G Capital Resources Sdn Bhd;
Encik Sallehuddin Bin Ahmad,
Director of MJD Land Sdn Bhd;
Encik Amirul Fahmi Bin Ahmad,
CEO of MJD Land Sdn Bhd;
His Excellency Ambassadors & Trade Commissioners
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen
A very good afternoon.
- First and foremost, I would like to congratulate KL & Selangor Furniture Association (KSFA) for successfully organising this significant event. It is indeed an honour for me to be part of this historic milestone — the Launching of International Furniture City in Selangor (SIFC), located in Sungai Buaya. I hope this ceremony will kick start a wonderful adventure for KSFA in playing a big role to the furniture industry in Malaysia.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
- For decades, the timber industry has played an important role in the socioeconomic development of Malaysia. I remember the days when Malaysia used to just export logs without much value-adding dimension. It is inspiring to see all the changes now.
- The Malaysian furniture industry has undergone transformational changes over the years and has become a vibrant industry that contributes significantly to the Malaysian economy. Please give a big applause to every single one of you.
- The government pursues to establish policies and regulations in order to ensure different industries remain efficient and competitive in the market. According to the 2019 “Doing Business” report, the World Bank has placed Malaysia in the 15th position among 190 world economies. The World Economic Forum (WEF) also ranked Malaysia as the 25th most competitive nation among 140 countries in 2018.
- Not only that, Malaysia is also the second most competitive nation among the ASEAN countries. In furniture industry alone, Malaysia is amongst the top 12 furniture exporters reaching over 160 global markets. The Malaysian wood and furniture industry have grown steadily in the last five years with RM7.35 Billion in 2013 to the peak of RM10.13 Billion in 2017.
- Despite a slight decline in 2018, the total export value for furniture products last year still recorded a staggering amount of RM9.83 billion which is only a slight reduction of 3%, with Selangor contributing over 30% of that total export.
- That same year, the record for domestic consumption is worth RM9.6 billion. I remain optimistic of the subsequent growth in the furniture industry as Malaysian furniture producers have been known to be reliable suppliers and producers of quality furniture.
- These attributes have contributed to the preference for Malaysian furniture by majority of the international buyers. This does not happen overnight but it is the result of continuous uphill battles and great effort by the government and industry players for the past several decades.
- Now we could see some sparkle from the latest statistic: the total export value for furniture products reached RM4.13 billion for the first 5 months this year–an increase of 9.6% from RM3.77 billion over the same period of last year. It is really a good sign!
- Trust me: Malaysia will continue to undertake significant measures to strengthen the resilience of the furniture industry. These include strategic moves by our government to strengthen the focus on labour, raw materials, mechanization and automation issues which will further propel the growth of the furniture industry.
- It is without doubt that the establishment of SIFC will certainly boost up and accelerate our furniture export and domestic consumption.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
- Selangor is one of the main hubs in Malaysia’s furniture industry. Home to the 12th busiest global container port and 2 international airports, and a major innovation/manufacturing hub with excellent ICT ecosystem and communication infrastructure, Selangor is indeed a prime investment location in Malaysia and provides an excellent value proposition for the manufacturers and businesses. In short, an ideal gateway into the global market.
- Apart from the infrastructure and connectivity advantages of the state, Selangor also boasts itself of having the ability to attract diversified and fitting workforce that are skilled, talented and multilingual. Selangor is home to a labour force of 3.4 million people employed in various fields: the largest workforce in Malaysia.
- These skilled workers are the foundation of Selangor economic growth, with the adaptive flexibility to manage technological and economic changes.
- The development of SIFC will generate employment opportunities to the industrial and business development and with this extension, it is believed that SIFC will be able to stimulate domestic sales and economic cycle to the state eventually.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
- The furniture industry is purely a “Made in Malaysia” business venture as we fully utilize local raw materials in the local production. This further raise the value of those locally-produced materials while contributing immensely to the country’s economic growth.
- Nevertheless, there are a lot of concerns on illegal factories, foreign labours, factory compliance, industrial facilities and bumiputera participation. These issues are prevalent not only in Sungai Buloh and Klang Valley but the whole country.
- I believe that the development of SIFC will give a big hand to the state by helping to solve some of the issues mentioned. The cluster concept of SIFC will completely enhance the reputation of the furniture industry with a world-class furniture estate.
- I believe SIFC will be a feasible plan, in line with the government’s goal to achieve a volume of RM20 billion worth of furniture exports by 2025 and it will be another testimony to both the state and KSFA commitments in creating a conducive eco-system and platform for business engagement and collaboration.
- SIFC also provides the avenue for the state to showcase its capabilities as the preferred investment destination and regional trading hub.
- The Government is recently putting more concerns on the foreign workers management. People came all the way from their motherlands to our beloved country to earn a livelihood. They are valuable assets to a company as they contributed to our production. They deserve a decent living condition and they deserve to be respected.
- The standard dormitories provided by SIFC to the labourers are playing a right role in ensuring their comfort and security, resulting in an enhanced productivity and efficiency that are in parallel with the company’s growth.
- As such, I am confident that the establishment of SIFC will not only drastically enhance the standard of Malaysian furniture industry. It will be a catalyst to increased contribution in the nation’s GDP.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
- Before I conclude my speech, I would like to applaud the efforts and hard work by SIFC Organizing committee and KSFA once again for making this event a success and congratulate them on this historic milestone. To all participating guests, I wish every success and prosperity in your businesses.
- On this note, it is my pleasure to officiate the launch of the International Furniture City in Selangor (SIFC).
YAB Tuan Amirudin bin Shari
Chief Minister of Selangor
19 August 2019