Malaysia, Pakistan propose greater cooperation to improve trade in palm oil, other commodities

815

Staff Reporter

Karachi

Minister Teresa Kok was invited to deliver the keynote address at the 5th Pakistan Edible Oil Conference, 12th January 2020. She was joined at the event by Mr. Abdul Razak Dawood, Advisor for Commerce, Textile, Industry & Production and Investment, Government of Pakistan.
The two leaders took the opportunity for a bilateral dialogue to explore various issues of common interest to both countries. Both emphasized the excellent cordial bilateral relations and further explored areas for enhancing trade.
Pakistan is a key importer of Malaysian palm oil and products. In 2018, Pakistan imported 1.16 million Metric Tonne MT of palm oil from Malaysia valued at USD 0.83 billion (RM2.97 billion). Avenues to further expand Malaysian palm oil share in this growing market was also discussed.
For example Pakistan is a net exporter of rice, fruits and other produces that are required by Malaysia and Mr. Abdul Razak Dawood encouraged Malaysia to consider in stinting trading practices that could allows other passage of these products into Malaysia.
On her part, Minister Teresa Kok highlighted that Medium Density Fibreboards (MDF) exporters from Sri Lanka enjoyed lower duties whereas Malaysia’s higher quality MDF were subjected to higher import tariffs. Other product opportunities were also discussed and both leaders agreed to convey these matters to the concerned authorities in their respective countries so that solutions could be worked out to benefit better trade relations between Malaysia and Pakistan.
Minister Teresa Kok, also delivered the Keynote address at the 5th Pakistan Edible Oil Conference (PEOC) in Karachi. She highlighted the importance of Pakistan as an end user of Malaysian palm oil and facilitated by the joint venture refinery between Malaysia and Pakistan in Port Qasim. She also described Pakistan as one of its most regular and dependable buyers of Malaysian palm oil an products.
She emphasized that palm oil has the potential for higher uptake in Pakistan given that its local production of oils and fats meets only around 20% of its consumption needs. It thus depends heavily on imports to meet growing domestic demand and consumption. Demand has been increasing at a rate of 4.5% per year for the past seven years, due to increasing population, income and consumer spending.
Palm oil is widely used for the manufacture of vanaspati (ghee) and it is also the preferred raw material for the food industry in Pakistan, especially for frying and in confectionary items.
Malaysia has a significant number of investments made in Pakistan by Malaysian companies such as FGV, KLK and IOI, via joint ventures with Westbury Group since 1993.
Minister Teresa Kok mentioned that Pakistan is among the first export destinations in which Malaysia has major investments in bulking installation and refineries, and the liquid cargo jetty dedicated for the handling of palm oil.
She had earlier paid a visit to Rear Admiral Syed Hasan Nasir Shah, Director General at Port Qasim Authority in Karachi on Friday.
She was also pleased to learn that the Prime Minister of Pakistan will be visiting Malaysia soon.