KUALA LUMPUR, April 10 — Afghanistan can be the ‘golden gateway’ for Malaysian palm oil to be marketed in Central Asia such as Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan as well as other countries in the region.

The Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities (MPIC) said the possibility was discussed by its Minister Datuk Dr Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali with the Afghanistan ambassador to Malaysia, Dr Mohib Rahman Spingar who paid a courtesy call on the ministry on Thursday.

Khairuddin said Afghanistan also welcomed the proposal to import more Malaysian palm oil and both sides agreed to explore the potential in expanding Malaysia’s direct palm oil exports to Afghanistan, which currently stood at 75,000 tonnes a year to 150,000 tonnes a year.

“The understanding thus opens a new chapter for Malaysian palm oil to be marketed to Central Asia with Afghanistan as the ‘golden gateway’ to other countries in the region such as Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and even to Kazakhstan and other countries through the two Chabahar ports in Iran,” he said in a statement today.

During the meeting, the two sides also discussed the potential to make Afghanistan a gateway for Malaysia’s other agri-commodity exports such as rubber, pepper, cocoa and timber.

Both parties agreed to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the purpose soon.

MPIC believes the understanding was reached because the world is confident of the premium quality of Malaysian palm oil and at the same time shows Sri Lanka’s recent action to restrict imports of raw materials of the commodity will not affect the country’s palm oil market but will open more new markets in other regions.

Also present at the meeting are MPIC secretary-general Datuk Ravi Muthayah and Malaysian Palm Oil Board director-general Dr Ahmad Parveez Ghulam Kadir.

Accompanying Dr Mohib were the chief counsellor Abdul Mueen Shahid and the embassy advisor Naseem Khanam.


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