MALAYSIA, PAKISTAN KEEN TO ENHANCE TRADE IN COMMODITIES

FARHANA PONIMAN

inKUALA LUMPUR, Jan 12 (Bernama) – Malaysia and Pakistan are keen to further explore ways to enhance trade in commodities as well as avenues to further expand Malaysian palm oil’s share in Pakistan.

A statement issued in conjunction with Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok’s official visit to the country said the minister and Pakistan’s Advisor for Commerce, Textile, Industry and Production and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood took the opportunity in a bilateral dialogue to explore various issues of common interest to both countries.

During the meeting, both leaders emphasised the excellent cordial bilateral relations and further explored areas for enhancing trade.

“For example, Pakistan is a net exporter of rice, fruits and other produce that are required by Malaysia and Abdul Razak Dawood encouraged Malaysia to consider instituting trading practices that could allow smoother passage of these products into Malaysia.

“On her part, Kok highlighted that Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF) exporters from Sri Lanka enjoyed lower duties whereas Malaysia’s higher quality MDF was subjected to higher import tariffs,” she said.

Other product opportunities were also discussed and both leaders agreed to convey these matters to the concerned authorities in their respective countries so that solutions could be worked out to benefit better trade relations between Malaysia and Pakistan.

Meanwhile, she said Pakistan is a key importer of Malaysian palm oil and products -- in 2018, it imported 1.16 million metric tonnes (MT) of palm oil valued at RM2.97 billion.

She highlighted the importance of Pakistan as an end-user of Malaysian palm oil and facilitated by the joint venture refinery between Malaysia and Pakistan in Port Qasim.

She said while Pakistan is one of the most regular and dependable buyers of Malaysian palm oil and products, the commodity has the potential for a higher uptake in Pakistan given that its local production of oils and fats meets only around 20 per cent of its consumption needs.

“It thus depends heavily on imports to meet growing domestic demand and consumption. Demand has been increasing at a rate of 4.5 per cent per year for the past seven years, due to increasing population, income and consumer spending.

“Palm oil is widely used for the manufacture of vanaspati (ghee) and it is also the preferred raw material for the food industry in Pakistan, especially for frying and in confectionery items,” she added.

During her visit there, Kok was also invited to deliver the keynote address at the 5th Pakistan Edible Oil Conference on Jan 10.

-- BERNAMA TAGS: palm oil, Pakistan, Teresa Kok, Abdul Razak Dawood