The lack of self-belief and strong management practice to address labour shortage among local furniture manufacturers is hampering the country’s potential as a global champion in the premium market.

Datuk Dr Tan Chin Huat, managing director of MIFF Sdn Bhd, the organizer of MIFF 2012, said as Malaysia is losing out to low-cost producers it has to re-direct its effort to the niche high-end market.

Ian Davies, managing director of design consultancy firm, Acradius Consulting Sdn Bhd said the industry remains competitive but it’s a challenge to compete on innovation and creativity.

Ralph Ong, managing director of Oasis Furniture Industries Sdn Bhd state that main issue among local workers is that they are not willing to work overtime due to family matters. This causes delay in delivering commitment from buyers.