MALAYSIA wants to be among the top five largest furniture exporters in the world, said International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.
The country ranked in 10th place last year and exported to more than 160 countries.
"The main export destinations for our furniture are the US, Japan, the UK, Australia, Singapore, Canada, the United Arab Emirates and India," he said at the launch of the Malaysia International Furniture Fair (MIFF) 2010 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre yesterday.
Mustapa also said the industry was a major contributor to the economy with more than 1,800 furniture companies in the country.
"Last year, the MIFF generated sales of RM2.4 billion (US$710 million) and hope this year, the number can be surpassed to much more," he said in his speech.
Later at a separate press conference, MIFF Sdn Bhd managing director Datuk Tan Chin Huat said the sales for this year's exhibition are projected to hit RM2.6 billion (US$750 million).
He said Malaysian-made furniture is beginning to win the attention of overseas buyers for competitive pricing, stylish designs and quality.
"A lot of developed countries like the US, France and Germany come here to buy bulks of furniture. This is also a great way for small and medium companies to showcase their furniture to the international buyers coming from 140 countries to this fair," he said.
Wooden furniture was among the major contributor for the country, making up more than 30 per cent of exports for last year alone.
MIFF 2010 is being held from today to Sunday at three venues, namely the Putra World Trade Centre, the Kuala Lumpur City Centre and the Matrade Exhibition and Convention Centre.
More than 500 local and international exhibitors are participating in the fair with more than 20,000 visitors expected.
- BUSINESS TIMES