Malaysia sees Pakistan as a special partner for Palm Oil – Malaysian Envoy Shamsul Iskandar bin Mohd. Akin

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High level Malaysian delegation headed by the Honorable Datuk Seri Shamsul Iskandar bin Mohd. Akin, Deputy Minister of Primary Industries in Malaysia along-with the Secretary General of Malaysian Palm Oil Ministry and other high profile officials from Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) and Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) visited Karachi to attend the Pakistan Edible Oil Conference which is being was held on 19th January 2019 at Mövenpick Hotel, Karachi.

Before attending Pakistan Edible Oil Conference, the Honorable Datuk Seri Shamsul Iskandar bin Mohd. Akin held a press conference at Gulab Conference Room, Mövenpick Hotel, Karachi to outline the objectives of Malaysian Delegation’s visit to Pakistan Edible Oil Conference (PEOC) 2019.

Datuk Seri Shamsul Iskandar bin Mohd. Akin said; “I would like to begin by congratulating the organizers of Pakistan Edible Oil Conference for hosting a successful conference yet again in this beautiful city of Karachi. I would also like to record my appreciation to the organizers for this invitation to be with all of you here and visit Pakistan for the first time as the Deputy Minister of Primary Industries, Malaysia”.

He said; “it is very encouraging to see that PEOC, which was first held in 2016, has become a permanent feature on the oils and fats conferences calendar of the region and attracts speakers and delegates not only in Pakistan but also from many other countries including from Malaysia. The main aim of this conference is to enrich all participants with the latest knowledge and developments pertaining to the global oils and fats industry especially that of the palm oil industry. In addition, this event has also become a platform for industry players to network and to meet the expanding needs in the palm oil industry.”

The Honorable Deputy Minister of Primary Industries said; Malaysia has always looked upon Pakistan as a special palm oil partner, given the special bonding between the major Pakistani and Malaysian oils and fats industry players. Over the years, the oils and fats trade between these two countries has expanded to products like oleo-chemicals, palm kernel expeller, cooking oil, confectionary fats and many other products being used by the food and non-food industries in Pakistan. This is reflected in the volume of Malaysian palm oil exported to Pakistan in 2017 which stood at 1.02 million MT, which was an increase of more than 15% compared to the previous year. I am happy to inform that as of November of 2018, Malaysian palm oil exports to Pakistan exceeded the volume exported in 2017 and it stood at 1.06 million MT, an impressive feat indeed. The value of Malaysian palm oil exported to Pakistan by end of November 2018 was about US$650 million. For this ladies and gentlemen, we are most grateful indeed”.

He further said; “as the Deputy Minister in charge, I wish to see this relationship grow and continue to prosper to even greater heights. I would like to take this opportunity to extend my personal assurance to all of you present that we will continue to provide you with the tools and assistance to achieve your objectives to further enhance the trade in Malaysian palm oil. Our current governments are also keen to extend such excellent relationships we enjoy.”

On mutual trade he went on to say; “Malaysia and Pakistan have a very long-standing palm oil trade relationship, one that can be traced back more than 40 years. This trade as well as diplomatic relationship was further strengthened by the recent visit of Your Honorable Prime Minister, Imran Khan to Malaysia and his subsequent meetings with our Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohammed. Among the important agreement reached was the partial abolition of visa for travel between the two countries. The visit also underlined the significance and importance Malaysia attaches to its relationship with Pakistan, encompassing several key economic and social agendas. The visit also gave an opportunity for both leaders to exchange views on a range of global and regional issues of comon concern”.

He said; “Pakistan’s oils and fats market has grown significantly, from 2.7 million metric tonnes in 2000 to over 4.4 million metric tonnes in 2017. The market has grown by almost double over this time and palm oil alone accounted for more than 50% of this total. Pakistan has always been among the most consistent buyers of Malaysian palm oil products and palm oil features as a major component of the growing bilateral trade between our two countries. It is my privilege to thank and honour all our Pakistani partners and friends for this continuous and unwavering support.”

He was very optimistic on palm oil’s performance in Pakistan and said; “the strengthening of Malaysian palm oil in Pakistan is achieved through strong cooperation between our two countries. In fact, Pakistan is among the first export destinations in which Malaysia has major investments in bulking installation and refineries, the liquid cargo jetty dedicated for the handling of palm oil. I believe there are many other opportunities to be tapped, considering Pakistan’s strategic geographical location. Malaysian companies are encouraged to come to Pakistan and to collaborate with local companies in developing other areas in oils and fats trade, including oleo-chemicals, biomass utilization and animal feed, just to name a few potential examples. Such efforts will spur the growth of the Pakistani oils and fats industry and further enhance the trade between our two countries.”

He further said on it; “I am also very pleased to share with all of you how far Malaysia has come since palm oil was introduced and cultivated in Malaysia. Today, the Malaysian palm oil industry has recorded impressive achievements, especially in transforming the landscape of the Malaysian agricultural sector. Oil palm plantations currently cover 5.82 million hectares of agriculture land in Malaysia and contributed US$18.2 billion to Malaysia’s export earnings in 2017. The palm oil industry has been an important and consistent contributor to our country’s economy and I sincerely believe that it will continue to do so in the long term.”

“Malaysia is aware of the increasing need of many countries to import palm oil to meet their oils and fats shortages. With this backdrop, palm oil has now become a significance force in the global oils and fats market. Today, palm oil is the leading vegetable oil in the international export trade, accounting for 56% of the total world’s oils and fats exports in 2017. Among the major Malaysian palm oil export destinations are China, India, EU, Pakistan and the USA. In 2017, Pakistan accounted for 6.1% of the total Malaysian palm oil exports and is the third largest single country importer of Malaysian palm oil.” he continued.

On challenges he said; “the oils and fats industry is in a very challenging period despite the continued strong growth in demand. Although competition continues to be an important feature of all trade, there are opportunities ahead for all of us to forge partnerships and closer relationships to handle many areas of common interest that we may face. Above all, there is an even greater need for those in the oils and fats industry from both our countries to work together to meet the increasingly sophisticated appetite and demands of consumers.”

Lastly he added that; “today’s oils and fats business is not just to enable supply to meet demand. Now, there are new socio-economic and cultural norms that dictate supply and demand as well as new elements that keep changing the profile of the market. Therefore, the market entities must be ready to address new demands for high quality products that are healthy, environmentally friendly and sustainable. Rest assured, the Malaysian palm oil industry is committed to ensuring sustainable practices and a cleaner environment. The Malaysian palm oil industry has always prioritized the need to ensure a balance between nature and developmental needs, and we have proved to be a reliable and responsible palm oil supplier.”

On concluding note, Honorable Datuk Seri Shamsul Iskandar bin Mohd. Akin, Deputy Minister of Primary Industries in Malaysia said; “before I conclude, I would like to once again record my sincere appreciation to the office bearers of Pakistan Vanaspati Manufacturers Association, All Pakistan Solvent Extractors Association, Pakistan Edible Oil Refiners Association and Pakistan Soap Manufacturing Association for inviting me to give this keynote address. My sincere thanks to all the delegates for taking time off from your busy schedules to be part of this eminent gathering. I wish you great success in your interactions and business discussions, and we can look forward to an enhanced palm oil trade between Malaysia and Pakistan.”

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