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Expo 2020 Dubai perfect platform to raise awareness on Malaysia's sustainable agricommodities

10/05/2022 11:24 AM

KUALA LUMPUR, May 10 (Bernama) -- Expo 2020 Dubai was timely and opportune for Malaysia to promote its palm oil industry and highlight the importance of the agricommodity to the global community, said Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities (MPIC) secretary-general Datuk Ravi Muthayah.

He said the concept of sustainable agricommodity provided a strong platform for Malaysia to expand the global market for palm oil exports.

"As Malaysia's main agricommodity export, palm oil has contributed significantly in providing a continuous inflow of earnings through the export of raw commodities and value-added products.

“This sector has also played an important role in helping our country to sail through the rough economic climate brought by the global pandemic,” he said in a statement today.

As platinum premier sponsor of the Malaysia Pavilion at the six-month global event that ended on March 31, 2022, MPIC had a permanent interactive exhibition area showcasing Malaysia’s sustainable agricommodities of palm oil, rubber, pepper, cocoa, timber, kenaf, and gaharu.

Ravi’s visit was part of the ministry's continuous promotional and economic mission to the Middle East to promote Malaysia’s agricommodities and explore market potentials and collaboration, where he also attended the Global Business Forum LATAM 2022 and a joint programme with the Mexico Pavilion.

On whether the MPIC-led programmes during the expo had achieved outcomes in increasing palm oil sales, Ravi said in 2021, Malaysia exported 134,772 tonnes of palm oil to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), an increase of 31.93 per cent compared to 2020 at 102,158 tonnes.

In 2021, the Middle Eastern region imported 2.34 million tonnes of Malaysian palm oil, an increase of 8.2 per cent compared to the same period in 2020. The UAE took up 10 per cent of the total palm oil and palm oil products exported to this region, valued at US$192 million.

Ravi said countries like Turkey, Iran and the UAE accounted for 84 per cent of the total Malaysian palm oil exports to the Middle Eastern region.

He said as a major hub in the Middle East, the UAE has always been Malaysia's largest export destination and second largest source of import in the region, serving as a gateway for Malaysia to penetrate new markets in the wider region.

"The UAE itself is currently the fourth largest importer of palm oil in the Arab world and is expected to reach US$467.1 million by 2025, according to a new report by Grand View Research Inc.

"We are confident that the business partnerships forged during the expo will open more doors for Malaysia's palm oil and palm oil-based products to reach a bigger market in this country,” he added. 

On the boycott by European Union (EU) countries of Malaysia's palm oil in recent years despite the Malaysian government's efforts to counter palm oil critics, Ravi said debates within the EU over palm oil and biofuel reflected a lack of knowledge and deep understanding about the topic and there is rising concern that the action is driven by an overtly political agenda.

"I would like to reiterate that come what may, Malaysia will continue to fight to promote the positive image of Malaysian agricommodity products, and prove what we can do best in adhering to sustainable production and consumption," he said.

Malaysia is committed in its pledge at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit to maintain at least 50 per cent of forest cover and tackle the issue of deforestation and direct or indirect land-use change, he said, adding that Malaysia’s current forest cover is 18.24 million hectares or 55.3 per cent of its total land area.

"The quick adoption and renewed focus on sustainability in the plantation is the key agenda in re-instilling consumers' confidence, enhancing brand value and loyalty, boosting productivity, intensifying efficiency, and creating new opportunities in business," he said.



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