PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia and Indonesia will join hands to counter the anti-palm oil campaign by certain quarters aimed at painting a bad image of the commodity on international markets.
Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Mah Siew Kong said a meeting would be held with Indonesia on July 28 to discuss the issue.
“We acknowledge that we are facing competition from soybean oil producers, but what is regrettable is the presence of an anti-palm oil group that is continuing to lobby purchasing countries,” he told reporters when met at his ministry’s Hari Raya function in Putrajaya on Thursday.
“This is an old issue that has been resurrected, whereas we have conducted many tests on palm oil to prove that it is good for health,” he said.
Mah said the anti-palm oil campaign had caused palm oil exports to China for the first six months this year to drop 50% compared to the same period last year.
“We need to review our export strategy. China used to be the world’s biggest importer of palm oil but has now dropped to third. The country has huge potential for us,” he said.
Mah said he would be going to Shanghai and Beijing, China soon for meetings as well as to meet buyers there.
“We will continue our efforts to increase our total palm oil exports to the republic, besides also focusing on other consuming countries including India, the US, and European countries.
“We hope to maintain our palm oil exports this year at last year’s levels, or even post a slight increase,” he added. - Bernama