The Covid-19 pandemic is changing the norms in forestry and timber industries across the globe, posing numerous challenges and creating new opportunities for both producing and importing countries.
In light of the global health and economic conundrums, the Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) organised a webinar titled “Timber Trade 2020: Malaysia and Germany – Status, Challenges, Perspectives” at its premises in Kuala Lumpur on 27 October. The webinar was held to provide the latest update on sustainable forest management and certification in Malaysia, and the status of timber trade between Malaysia and Germany to the industry players and stakeholders in both countries.
Germany and the European Union (EU) have been important business partners for Malaysian tropical timber and furniture industries for decades. Malaysian timber-based agencies such as MTCC and the Malaysian Timber Council (MTC) have been working closely with the German Timber Trade Federation (GTTF) over the years to facilitate and promote the trade of sustainable Malaysian timber products to the Deutschland.
In his welcoming remarks, MTCC CEO, Yong Teng Koon highlighted the rising awareness among industry players in the EU markets on Malaysia’s sustainable forest management efforts and recognition of the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS) implemented by MTCC.
“With the increasing awareness on the need to ensure sustainability, certification has been accepted as a market-linked tool to maintain and improve market access for our timber products. We at MTCC are happy to see the increased awareness in the EU markets of our efforts towards sustainable forest management and for their recognition of the MTCS,” he said.
Three topics were presented at the webinar which was moderated by KaiserCommunication GmbH (Germany) founder and CEO Guntram Kaiser. MTC Deputy CEO, Wong Kah Cane provided an overview on timber trade between Malaysia and Germany and the EU countries in general with a paper titled “Overview on Latest Developments in Malaysia-EU/Germany Timber Trade.”
Thomas Goebel, Secretary General of the European Timber Trade Federation and GTTF Chief Executive Officer, presented a topic on “Market Development in the Timber Trade 2020” where he briefly talked about Germany’s timber trade progress amidst the coronavirus situation. Yong was the third speaker at the event, presenting a topic on “Update on Sustainable Forest Management and Timber Certification in Malaysia.” The presentations were followed by a Q&A session.
A total of 82 participants comprising the PEFC/MTCS Chain of Custody certificate holders, representatives of various timber associations and timber traders from both countries joined the 90-minute webinar.