He added that the export value of sawn timber, plywood and medium density fibreboard to India recorded an increase of more than 25 percent last year compared to 2015.
"This has prompted the establishment of a regional Malaysian Timber Council (MTC) office in the south Indian city of Bangalore,” he said. "The office, expected to be up and running by June 2017, will play a major role in further facilitating and increasing Malaysia's export of timber and timber products to India.”
The office will also serve as a gateway for Malaysian exporters to tap India's growing market as well as penetrate it's highly populated neighbours such as Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
Besides India, Japan is another big importer of Malaysian timber at RM3.73 billion last year, and comprising mainly veneers, fibreboards and chipboards.
The timber industry is in a major contributor to the nation's export earnings. Timber and timber products accounted for 17.92 percent of the total export earnings by the commodities sector and 2.78 percent of Malaysia''s total export earnings in 2016.