Furniture makers urged to develop environment-friendly products

Part of the exhibits at MIFF2010


KUALA LUMPUR:  Furniture makers have been urged to develop environment-friendly products in line with rising consumer demand for such products.

“As the world demand for sustainable and eco-friendly products rises, the industry must invest in R&D and develop new products that meet consumer interest in green and environmentally-friendly furniture," said Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed at the opening of the Malaysian International Furniture Fair (MIFF) 2010 on March 2.

Mustapa added that the development of the furniture industry will continue to focus on enhancing the value adding process in converting new timber species and other raw materials available into the making of furniture.

Malaysia furniture exports in 2009 amounted to RM7.6 billion, which was 1.9% of total exports of manufactured goods. The major export markets last year were the US (28.5%) followed by Japan (10.6%), the UK (7.7%), Australia (6.8%) and Singapore (6.7%).

He said the government will be facilitating various exposure programmes for Malaysian furniture exporters overseas including participation in I-Saloni in Milan from April 14 to 19, 2010 to expose Malaysian furniture and designs to the world.

Datuk Tan Chin Huat, managing director of Miff Sdn Bhd, the organiser, said MIFF is looking to up the ante this year with 20,000 visitors to the five-day fair, which ends on March 6.  Sales orders at the fair are expected to surpass the 2009 collection of US$710 million (RM2.4 billion).

The event takes place in three venues, namely Putra World Trade Centre, Matrade Exhibition and Convention Centre (MECC) and KLCC. At MECC, a new event called ID Trends invites Malaysians to get up close and personal with local interior designers for ideas.

The fair has attracted over 500 local and international exhibitors. Products on display include materials such as palm old wood, rice husk and sawdust, amongst others.

Admission fee is RM20 for the whole duration of the fair and it is open from 9.30am to 6pm from March 2 to 6. For ID Trends at MECC, admission is free.

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