KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is targetting the export of palm oil and palm-based products to the Philippines to increase by 50% to RM3bil by 2020, from RM1.99bil recorded in 2015.
Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong said the Philippines, which was flourishing with infrastructure development and with a population of about 100 million, offered huge potential for Malaysian palm oil and palm-based products.
The minister, who returned from the Philippines on Wednesday, after leading a rubber and palm oil economic and promotion mission, said coconut oil was the favourite edible oil among Filipinos.
“But, due to insufficient production of coconut oil, food manufacturers in the Philippines are encouraged to adopt the use of palm oil as an alternative, which is affordable and in line with economic development,” said Mah who also met importers and traders of palm oil and rubber in the Philippines.
He held bilateral discussions with the Secretary of Energy, Philippines, Alfonso G. Cusi and the Secretary of Trade and Industry Philippines Ramon M. Lopez on export and investment opportunities in the Philippines palm oil and rubber sectors.
The bilateral discussion with Cusi focused on exploring possible collaboration in the area of renewable energy especially in biodiesel, bioethanol and second-generation biofuels between the two countries.
The Philippines is currently using B2 (2.0% biodiesel) and was looking to improve the mixture to B5 (5.0% biodiesel) using coco-methyl ester (CME).
If B5 policy is mandated by the Philippines government, it would require some 350 million litres or 323,494.5 tonnes of CME.
Mah said Malaysia had ample capacity to supply sustainable palm-based biodiesel and praised the Philippines’ commitment to increase the blend of biofuel in their biodiesel mandate.
Besides, the minister strongly recommended that the Philippines use high technology rubber products from Malaysia, especially seismic bearings in buildings to reduce seismic impact from earthquakes.
Seismic bearings are advanced aseismic products developed by the Malaysian Rubber Board, targeted specifically at the infrastructure markets of countries located in high seismic risk zones. - Bernama