Title page for ETD etd-72098-4447

Type of Document Major Paper
Author Hashim, Norchahaya Jr.
Author's Email Address nhashim@vt.edu,mtib@po.jaring.my
URN etd-72098-4447
Title An Investigation of Factors Leading to Establishing downstream Timber Processing in Malaysia
Degree Master of Forestry
Department Wood Science and Forest Products
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
West, Cynthia D. Committee Chair
Hammett, Alfred L. Tom Committee Member
Smith, Robert L. Committee Member
Wisdom, Harold W. Committee Member
  • furniture
  • downstream
  • goverment policy
Date of Defense 1998-08-04
Availability unrestricted
The Malaysian timber industry has made tremendous progress

towards making this sector one of the country's important

foreign exchange earners. From a major exporter of tropical

logs, it shifted to become a reliable exporter of high

quality sawn timber during the 1980s. Realizing the need

to maintain long availability of its raw material supply

and with the intention of achieving higher value from its

timber resource, Malaysia has decided the direction and

future of its timber sector. The first Industrial Master

Plan (IMP) was launched in 1985 with the objective of making

Malaysia a highly visible and reputable center for furniture,

joinery, and molding. Therefore, this study is intended to

assess factors leading towards promoting the use of timber

in downstream processing furniture manufacturing.

This study had four objectives. Firstly, to identify and

describe factors that affect the export performance of

furniture. Secondly, this study described trade policies,

incentives, and government efforts that supported the

development of the furniture industry in Malaysia.

Thirdly, a regression model was used to quantify the

relationships among these factors in order to predict the

export of wooden furniture from Malaysia. Lastly, this

study suggests measures that could be taken to enhance the

position of the Malaysian furniture industry in the global


In understanding the position of Malaysia's furniture market,

this study began with a review of international furniture

trade and policy development. Two of the world's major

markets for furniture, the United States and Japan, were

examined to understand their furniture industries,

requirements, and market trends. In addition, brief

profiles were presented of furniture and related industries

and markets of three significant furniture suppliers from

Asia: Taiwan, Indonesia, and Thailand.

The structure of Malaysia's furniture industry was examined

and reviewed, in order to have a better understanding of its

size and export potential. The Malaysian furniture industry

is comprised of small units of factories, particularly the

factories located in the furniture villages and accounting

for 70% of the numbers. Seventy five percent of these

medium and large factories are locally owned and the

remaining are either joint ventures or foreign owned. To

help expedite the objective as specified under the IMP,

the Malaysian government and its agencies have formulated

several measures, with the purpose to provide an industrial

and business environment conducive to the industry.

In this study, important factors which influenced the

development of this sector were examined. The supply of

raw materials has been an important factor that could

affect the establishment of the processing industry and its

competitiveness. In addition to this, the current issue of

Malaysian Ringgit depreciation has been taken into account.

The Malaysian exchange rate to the U.S. Dollar was linked to

the United States import price indexes to see their impact

on the export performance of Malaysian furniture. The

supply and price variables were found significant and

elastic to the export of furniture from Malaysia. The

export predictions were made for three-year periods. Due

to the financial crisis that hit Asia last July, there are

many uncertainties on these independent variables that

could affect the accuracy of the export predictions.

Nevertheless, the model developed should be useful and

reliable once revised projections of these variables are

made available.

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