JOHOR BARU: Cyprus has shown interest in importing palm oil from Johor and distributing it to adjacent Mediterranean countries, says Mentri Besar Datuk Osman Sapian.
He said the interest was shown to him during his recent visit to Cyprus, which also expressed its readiness to provide expertise.
“Cyprus is keen to become a palm oil importer and distributor for neighbouring countries including Greece and Turkey,”
he told reporters after the soft launch of the Johor International Islamic and Halal Festival 2019 here.
Osman said the state government held discussions with Johor Corporation (JCorp) and YPJ Holdings Sdn Bhd, two state-owned companies that also own oil palm plantations, over the matter.
“Cyprus is a developed nation with a strong economy. They are willing to send experts and are also keen to manufacture palm oil downstream products like soap and food,” he said. Meanwhile, the festival will be held at the Persada Johor International Convention Centre from March 28 to 31.
Osman said the festival would be the best platform for Malaysian halal industry players to promote their products locally and abroad.
He added that the state government wanted to ensure that Johor was not left behind China, South Korea and Japan, countries that were actively planning to expand their halal products to other markets.
“My wish is that this year we kick-start large-scale efforts to make Johor the pioneer of the halal sector in Malaysia,” he
Osman expressed optimism that the state government, through Perbadanan Usahawan Johor Sdn Bhd (PUJB), would
be able to come up with halal food, healthcare, cosmetics and other products for export. — Bernama