Strengthening trade ties in Cairo


Plantation and Commodities minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani, delivering this keynote at the Malaysian Palm Oil Forum in Egypt 2024.

THE Malaysian Palm Oil Forum (MPOF) Egypt 2024 officially opened on May 28 in Cairo, marking the second edition of this significant event aimed at enhancing the exports of Malaysian palm oil and its derivatives in the North African region.

Plantation and Commodities minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani, delivered the keynote address, emphasising the critical role of Malaysian palm oil in the global market and its contributions to sustainable agribusiness.

The forum, hosted by the Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) in Cairo, attracted industry leaders, stakeholders, and experts from Egypt, Malaysia, and beyond, with key representatives from major Malaysian palm oil suppliers such as Wilmar International, FGV Holdings, Bursa Malaysia, Pacific Inter-Link, Alami Commodities, and Mac World Industries were also in attendance.

Egypt is a major trade partner and a significant consumer of Malaysian palm oil, making Cairo a strategic location for the forum. The aim is to expand Malaysian palm oil exports across the African continent, with Egypt serving as a pivotal hub for re-exports.

The MPOF is designed as a platform for professionals in the oils and fats industry to convene, collaborate, and form robust trade partnerships.

It provides insights into the latest industry advancements and trends, featuring presentations from international experts and an exhibition where companies from Malaysia and Egypt showcase their products and services.

Johari was accompanied by Belvinder Sron, the chief executive officer of MPOC during the walk-about at the MPOF Egypt 2024 exhibition.Johari was accompanied by Belvinder Sron, the chief executive officer of MPOC during the walk-about at the MPOF Egypt 2024 exhibition.

With the theme "Malaysian Palm Oil – Paving the Way for Sustainable Agribusiness," the event underscores Malaysia’s commitment to sustainable practices.

It also aligns with global environmental imperatives and highlights the strong bilateral relationship between Malaysia and Egypt.

The Malaysian palm oil industry, contributing 23% to the global supply and generating US$ 22 bil in exports last year, is crucial to Malaysia’s economy.

The industry supports over 450,000 small farmers and is integral to various non-food sectors, including oleochemicals and renewable energy.

Addressing the areas of future collaboration and growth in the North African region, Johari said: “The region offers numerous untapped opportunities for creating higher value products from palm derivatives, such as oleochemicals used in various industries such as pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, processed foods, personal care and consumer brands.

Both our industry players can collaborate by forging new partnerships and building strategic alliances. These efforts will help us tap into new markets for Malaysian palm oil and further expand our presence in this region,” he added.

MPOC’s chief executive officer Belvinder Sron highlighted the rapid evolution of the Egyptian palm oil market. MPOC’s chief executive officer Belvinder Sron highlighted the rapid evolution of the Egyptian palm oil market.

Commenting on the market, MPOC’s chief executive officer Belvinder Sron, pointed out that the Egyptian palm oil market is evolving rapidly with palm oil being an economically essential and versatile edible oil crucial for both food and non-food industries.

“Palm oil and its derivatives are leading imported vegetable oils in Egypt with palm oil imports amounting to 1.08 million tonnes in 2023, accounting for 58% of the total oils and fats imports,” she added.

The Malaysian Palm Oil Forum (MPOF), an initiative by the Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC), serves as a platform for engagement between the Malaysian palm oil industry and key buyers and end-users.

The forum aims to facilitate trade enhancement and explore avenues of collaboration. It targets stakeholders from other North African countries, fostering direct interactions between Malaysian palm oil suppliers and buyers.

The MPOF seeks to drive innovation, form new partnerships, and explore untapped markets in Egypt and North Africa, particularly in creating higher-value products from palm derivatives.

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