Dompok: Bangladesh keen on palm oil pact

The Bangladeshi government is keen to procure palm oil from Malaysia using its state-owned trading arm to ensure consistent edible oil supply and price stability prevails in the domestic market.

Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Tan Sri Bernad Dompok said Bangladesh is keen on a bilateral arrangement, and Malaysia welcomes the proposal as it will encourage more exports of the commodity to the populous South Asian nation.

“Bangladesh is interested to have a government-to-government buying arrangement to ensure there is steady supply and price of palm oil is maintained in the local market,” said Dompok.

“This will also help Malaysia export more to Bangladesh because its current per capita consumption is only 8.6 kg compared to world’s average consumption of 22 kg, there is good opportunity for growth,” he said.

Bangladesh’s Commerce Minister Faruk Khan conveyed the government’s interest to Dompok, who was in Dhaka to inaugurate the Malaysia-Bangladesh Palm Oil Trade Fair and Seminar 2009 last week.

State-run Trading Corp of Bangladesh will be entrusted to procure the supply on behalf of the government, which for the first time will intervene in the import business that is completely dominated by the private sector.

Annually, Bangladesh imports about 1.4 million tonnes of palm oil for its domestic use, largely from Indonesia and Malaysia.

In 2008, Malaysia exported about 217,264 tonnes of palm oil to Bangladesh.

But for January-October 2009, figures had been dismal – only at 57,726 tonnes – after many Bangladeshi buyers, bitten by the rising price, shifted to Indonesian suppliers who had offered cheaper rates.

The Palm Oil Credit Payment Arrangement will also be considered in the bilateral discussion, which are likely to be held in Kuala Lumpur next month. – Bernama Source: Business Times

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