Malaysia's timber sector, which raked in export receipts of RM20.03 billion last year, is expected to have a challenging year due to global economic slowdown.
Plantation Industries and Commodities Deputy Minister Datuk Hamzah Zainudin said there is no end in sight for the economic slowdown in the US and Europe, thus making it hard to predict on the timber sector's performance this year.
"This year will be challenging but we hope to match last year's performance as the furniture sub-sector is doing well ... only timber logs and related products are facing a slight slowdown," Hamzah said here last Friday after launching Malaysian Timber Council's Global Woodmart conference, forum and exhibition.
Hamzah said economic conditions in the US might turn for the better after the US elections, which will have a positive spillover effect on other timber-buying coun-tries such as in Europe, China and Japan.
"Malaysia is working hard to achieve RM53 billion worth of export receipts by 2020 as envisaged under the National Timber Industry Policy," said Hamzah.