Malaysia hoping for 40% rise in palm oil imports by Pakistan, says Kok

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Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok says the edible oils market is expanding in Pakistan, which has a population of over 200 million.

PUTRAJAYA: Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok hopes Malaysia’s market share for palm oil in Pakistan will increase to up to 60% this year after the republic’s Prime Minister Imran Khan pledged to import more of the commodity

Kok said Malaysian palm oil currently holds a 22% market share in Pakistan.

“There is room for improvement, they are asking for crude palm oil (CPO) at a lower price,” she told a press conference at her ministry here today, adding that detailed discussions would be held to iron out the details.

She said she was happy with Khan’s announcement, describing it as “good news” for Malaysia.

Economists and analysts have cautioned Malaysia against expecting too much from Khan’s pledge because of Pakistan’s lack of money and weak internal demand.

On Tuesday, during a call on Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad in Putrajaya, Khan said his country would increase imports of palm oil to compensate for Malaysia’s loss in the Indian market.

Asked to comment, Kok said a number of issues could be ironed out through bilateral trade.

During her last visit to Pakistan, she said, there was a request for more direct flights from Karachi to Kuala Lumpur, and there had been an increase in tourists from the country. “So, there is a potential increase in bilateral trade.”

She said there was room for the edible oils market in Pakistan to grow as it had a population of over 200 million that grew at 2.74% every year.

At the same time, she said Malaysia wished to maintain its good relationship with India and explore new markets for the country’s palm oil.

Earlier, Kok announced that the Malaysia-China Silk Route Chamber had donated 3.75 million pieces of gloves and 20,000 pieces of protective clothing for medical use by China which has been hit by the coronavirus outbreak.

The Malaysian Rubber Export Promotion Council and local rubber glove manufacturers had also sent 18 million medical gloves to healthcare workers in Wuhan, China, previously.

The new batch of gloves and protective clothing will be sent to other affected provinces – Hunan, Hubei, Hainan, Shandong and Guangdong.

Also present were Malaysia-China Silk Route Chamber chairman Ong Tee Keat and Chinese embassy spokesman Tang Tang.

Credit: Robin Augustin of FMT news | February 7, 2020