Malaysia targets Pakistan palm oil sales

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia is eyeing to capture at least half of Pakistan’s large palm oil market now that the country has agreed to increase imports, says Teresa Kok.

The Primary Industries Minister said that Malaysia hoped to increase its stake in Pakistan’s market to 50% or 60% over time.

Currently, Malaysia holds only 22% of Pakistan’s palm oil market share.

Pakistan, which has more than 200 million people, records a 2.5% annual growth in population.

“The country’s population growth is an opportunity for us.

“There is certainly room for improvement and the recent announcement by Prime Minister Imran Khan (to buy more palm oil) is good news to us, ” she told reporters after announcing more rubber glove contributions to China for provinces affected by the novel coronavirus.

Imran, who visited Malaysia on Feb 4, said Pakistan would try its best to compensate Malaysia’s shortfall in the export of palm oil to India.

“We noticed that India has threatened Malaysia for supporting the Kashmir cause.

“Pakistan will try its best to compensate, ” he said.

India’s directorate general of foreign trade had announced certain restrictions on the import of refined palm oil and palm olein from Malaysia.

This came following remarks by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad regarding India’s actions on Kashmir and the new citizenship law last year.

In 2018, Pakistan imported 1.16 million metric tonnes of palm oil worth RM2.97bil from Malaysia.

On whether Pakistan could actually afford to buy more palm oil, Kok said the issue could be ironed out.

“There is always a demand for palm oil and fats. Both countries can discuss this matter under our bilateral trade, ” she said.

Several reports quoted economists as saying that Malaysia should not expect too much from Pakistan’s pledge to buy more palm oil due to a lack of money and weak internal demand.

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