PENAMPANG: Furniture players with more than one outlet in Sabah have been encouraged to open up furniture factories in the State.
State Finance Assistant Minister Kenny Chua said the State Government would assist in reducing red tape so that they could set up factories soon as possible.
“So far, there is no furniture factory in Sabah. We only have outlets selling furniture with showrooms to display their products and place their stocks.
“We are encouraging the big players to open up their own furniture factories in Sabah because it could save a lot in terms of costs and transportation, among others, which will enable them to sell their products at a cheaper price.
“As we (State Government) has banned the export of logs, there will be plenty of woods available for the players to venture into downstream activities that will improve Sabah’s economy,” he said to reporters after opening a four-day Sabah Furniture Fair 2019 at ITCC Mall, here, from May 30 to June 2, here, on Thursday.
The State’s biggest furniture show was jointly organised by Perabot Matahari Sdn Bhd and ITCC, in collaboration with more than 10 manufacturers from the peninsula.
Also present were Perabot Matahari Sdn Bhd Managing Director Sim Poi Kon, ITCC Mall General Manager Hugo Malakun and manufacturers from the peninsula.
Kenny cited Sim, a furniture seller from Johor, who has opened up several outlets in Sabah but has no factory in the State as he is getting all the products from the peninsula, including Johor.
Hence, he advised Sim to consider opening up his own factory in Sabah to produce furniture as it could reduce his operational and transportation costs, and lower the prices of items.
To a question, Kenny said there were few investors which had shown interest to open up furniture factories in Sabah.
“One of them, I was informed, is the world’s largest retailer Ikea,” he said.
“Apart from Ikea, two to three more investors from Japan and locally are also interested.”
Kenny commended Perabot Matahari, ITCC and the manufacturers from the peninsula for jointly organising the fair which is testimony of their confidence in Sabah’s economy under the new government.
Another attraction, he said, was the fair was offering special prices and gifts to purchasers in conjunction with the Harvest Festival and coming Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebrations.
“It is the hope of the Sabah Government to a viable business environment to attract more investors to the State.
“The Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida), which held a seminar in Kota Kinabalu this year, had stated that many investors were interested in investing in the furniture industry in Sabah.
“As of September 2018, Mida has approved a total of 466 furniture and wood-based projects in Sabah with total investments amounting to RM5.36 billion,” he said.
www.dailyexpress.com June 2019
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