Furniture Industry in Malaysia

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Industry Profile
* The Malaysian furniture industry today has transformed into a technologically advanced multi-billion ringgit industry from a traditional, domestic cottage-based production in the beginning years in1980s.

* With the furniture industry’s adoption of high technology production manufacturing capabilities coupled with greater emphasis on design, market expansion and aggressive promotional efforts, the Malaysian furniture industry has the potential to increase exports for a bigger global market share.

* The furniture industry is highly export-oriented with over 90% of its production are destined for overseas market which accounted 3% value of global exports.

* In 2010, Malaysia ranks as the eighth largest exporter of furniture in the world and third in Asia after the People's Republic of China and Vietnam, with exports to more than 160 countries. The value of Malaysian furniture exports represented 3 per cent of total world exports.

* Among the furnitures exported are:-
i. kitchen furniture,
ii. bedroom furniture,
iii. upholstered with wooden frame and
iv. office furniture
of which over 80 per cent are made from rubber wood, a light colored, medium hardwood popularly called ‘Malaysian Oak’.

* Now there is concerted effort between Malaysia and Thailand to brand rubber wood as ‘Hevea wood’.

* The export of garden/outdoor furniture from tropical hardwood is mainly for the European market. The solid tropical wood species used are known for their durability under different climatic conditions.

* Besides these traditional markets, Malaysian furniture has gained access to the markets in New Zealand, South America, Middle East, Africa and Russia. Malaysia is a major supplier of office furniture to the Middle East market.

* Malaysian furniture companies numbering about 1,800 are mainly located in Peninsular Malaysia. A high concentration of furniture establishments are in Johor (Muar and Kluang), Selangor (Klang and Sungai Buloh) and Melaka (Bukit Rambai).

Industry Development

* Malaysian furniture manufacturers have given greater emphasis on product finishing, design and quality for products produced under own-brand. These have enabled companies to creatively combine the use of wide range of materials such as glass, metal, plastics, bamboo, rattan and other composite materials in combination with rubber wood or other wood species for the increasingly sophisticated market.

* The modern technologies and software such as Computer Aided Design (CAD) and AutoCAD have been adopted and being utilised to enhance the designing capabilities. The use of integrated logistics management system has also helped furniture companies to efficiently control their stock and inventory which enable the application of ‘Just In Time (JIT)’ in its operations.

* Recently, Malaysian Furniture Promotion Council (MFPC) has introduced Malaysia Pride Quality Mark as a symbol of quality for the local furniture industry. The Malaysia Pride Quality Mark will become a branding tool and catalyst for the industry to differentiate Malaysia in order to compete effectively and put our stamp onto the highly competitive and cluttered global marketplace.

Industry Outlook
* International Monetary Fund (IMF) in its World Economic Outlook post 2011’s release has indicated that global economy is anticipated to improve progressively. The year 2011 had seen global economy setback, caused mainly by Eurozone debt crisis, US economy slowdown, earthquake and tsunami in Japan and floods in Thailand.

* Remedies to reduce the threat of a sharp global slowdown are evident through the steps taken, for instance, the federal government of the United States had provided additional monetary policy accommodation during the second half of 2011 and early 2012, which supported stronger economic recovery in the context of price stability. While, for Eurozone,...
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