KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 10 — The Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities (MPIC) plans to open a Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) office in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia to expand the country’s palm oil market to Africa and the Middle East.
Its Minister Datuk Dr Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali said the MPOC office in Jeddah would be a marketing hub in Africa and the Middle East after receiving new requests from Kenya, Ethiopia and the Middle East.
“I have had discussions with the Saudi Arabian embassy earlier… as such, we need to campaign to spread the benefits and advantages of Malaysian palm oil so that all parties can know the quality of our premium palm oil,” he said at the Ruang Bicara programme on Bernama TV themed “Sawit Anugerah Tuhan” (Palm Oil is God’s Gift) yesterday.
At the same time, he said there was an increase in demand for palm oil from Saudi Arabia for the production of hand sanitisers and soap during the current COVID-19 epidemic.
He said the palm oil industry has a very bright future because it is not only used as cooking oil but also in the pharmaceutical industry at home and abroad.
Therefore, he said, the ministry will launch a virtual campaign themed ‘Palm Anugerah Tuhan’ on Feb 10 to promote the sustainability of the Malaysian palm oil industry at home and abroad by using educational elements through social media, visual appeal and aesthetic values.
The campaign will take place on FB Live MPOC and the website www.sawit.com.my.
“This campaign also aims to repel anti-palm oil campaigns that aim to tarnish the image of palm oil and challenge public perception on it,” he explained.
Mohd Khairuddin said the palm oil industry had contributed RM72.8 billion in national revenue through the export of palm oil and its products to the international market last year.
“This amount is much higher, about 14.18 per cent more than the RM63.73 billion recorded in 2019 and the highest since 2017 (RM77.9 billion),” he said.
On the issue of discrimination on palm oil by European Union (EU) countries and the United States, he said Malaysia had adopted the dispute mechanism and brought the EU to arbitration with the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
“We have submitted the case on Jan 15, 2021, while Indonesia had also done the same in 2019.
“We have brought this issue to the WTO and are waiting for the meeting in Geneva which will take place this April,” he added.