TEHRAN, Jan 20 (Bernama) — Iran and Malaysia should strengthen trade in palm oil by exploring Middle East markets and use Iran as a hub, says Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas.
He said Iran imported 671,384 tonnes of Malaysian palm oil during January-November 2013, which reflected the importance of Iran as a major export destination for Malaysian palm oil in the Middle East.
The country also doubled the import of palm kernel oil to more than 14,000 tonnes during January-October 2013 from only 7,000 tonnes registered in the corresponding period in 2012.
“I am confident with the intensified collaboration and cooperation between business communities in Malaysia and Iran, the volume of palm oil imports will definitely increase in the near future,” he said at the Malaysia-Iran Palm Oil Trade Fair and Seminar here Monday.
Present were Malaysian Ambassador to Iran Mohamad Sadik Kethergany, Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) Chairman Datuk Lee Yeow Chor, MPOC Chief Executive Officer Tan Sri Dr Yusof Basiron, Malaysian Palm Oil Board Deputy Director-General Dr Ahmad Khushairi Din and Iranian Vegetable Oils Industry Association President Mohammed Ghebleh.
“Malaysia is and will always be committed to improving its trade relations significantly with Iran and other countries.
“Apart from the economic gains domestically, production of palm oil-based products in Iran confers further benefits by providing opportunity for exporters,” Uggah said.
He said there were ample opportunities for both countries to focus on palm oil products such as in the production of blended cooking oil, high quality confectionery products and applications for other foods and non-food purposes like in the production of nutraceutical and pharmaceutical products.
“This can steer our partnership into new and even more productive areas,” he added.
Uggah expressed hope that the industry in Iran would capitalise on this opportunity by importing palm oil which has numerous competitive advantages compared with other vegetables oils.
He said Malaysian palm oil was readily available owing to its perennial and well documented health benefits.
Iran will be served by the MPOC office in Istanbul, Turkey, which provides support to palm oil industry players in the Middle East region.
Source : BERNAMA