13/02/2023 04:19 PM

KUCHING, Feb 13 (Bernama) -- Sarawak can achieve its target of earning RM8 billion from timber and timber product exports by 2030 by having a well-structured timber industry, as well as highly skilled and trained local furniture designers, said Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

In order to boost the growth of the furniture industry, he called on local designers to be more innovative and explore the possibility of designing other furniture products besides tables and chairs.

“Now (the figure) is RM44 million for furniture total export value, so can you reach the number (RM8 billion) in the next seven years? We have to upgrade the technology as well as the creativity of our human capital. If other countries can leapfrog, I am sure our young designers can do it.

“Our designers must go beyond conventional furniture design. You can have designs from Sarawak for our automotive industry such as the interior design of the dashboard for cars or planes, meaning that your furniture products are not only chairs and tables but the whole spectrum of design in the market,” he said at the launch of Sarawak Design Week here today.

Meanwhile, Sarawak Deputy Premier and Minister of International Trade, Industry and Investment, Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, said in his speech that the state’s rich culture with diverse ethnic groups can serve as an inspiration to come up with creative products that could penetrate international markets. 

With the theme “Design For Tomorrow", the four-day event aims to instil and promote the importance of design for business as well as the enrichment of creativity in society while showcasing designs ranging from furniture and home decor to fashion and handicrafts.