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Furniture Manufacturers Face Uncertainties On Unfavourable US, Europe Economies
News From : DagangHalal.com (12/17/2010)

KULAIJAYA: Local furniture manufacturers and exporters are still facing uncertainties in the international market due to the unfavourable economic conditions in the United States and European countries.

SHH Resources Holdings Bhd managing director Datuk Teo Wee Cheng said demand for the made-in-Malaysia furniture from US consumers had yet to pick up as its economy was still in the doldrums.

He said the austerity measures taken by Ireland and several Western European countries could lead to another round of global economic recession.

The strengthening of the ringgit against the greenback in recent months is not helping either as our export to the United States has become more expensive,' Teo told StarBiz after the company AGM recently.

He said to mitigate the problem, the company had already started producing value-added furniture especially bedroom sets for the US market as this segment generated higher margin.

Teo said the company's bedroom sets were its best-selling products in the United States as most Americans would change their bedroom sets after using them for an average of three years.

He said the United States remained the company's main export market but it would continue to look for alternative markets in Australasia, Japan and Eastern European countries to widen its market base.

Emerging economies especially China and India as well as countries in the Middle East and South-East Asia offer good opportunities for us too,' said Teoh.

On a related matter, he said Malaysia still had abundant supply of rubberwood for the local furniture industry with Johor, Kelantan and Pahang having planting areas dedicated for rubberwood trees for furniture making.

Teo said the company would rebuild one of its finishing facilities, Kurnia Sejati Sdn Bhd, at Pagoh industrial area, which caught fire in September in the first quarter of next year.

- The Star Online

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