Malaysia, Turkey Eye Further Cooperation – Dompok

Turkey is open to further cooperation with Malaysian partners in areas that can benefit both countries which may, at the same time, address trade imbalance between them, said Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Tan Sri Bernard Dompok.

He said this was conveyed during talks with two Turkish ministers here Tuesday.

Dompok held back-to-back meetings with Industry and Trade Minister Nihat Ergun as well as Agriculture and Rural Affairs Minister Mehmet Mehdi Eker soon after arriving in the Turkish capital from Istanbul, where he opened the Palm Oil Trade Fair and Seminar (POTS) 2009 Turkey on Monday.

“In fact, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs is thinking about a memorandum of understanding with his Malaysian counterpart on matters that can benefit both countries,” he said.

Dompok described Turkey, which has a population of about 75 million, as a growing market and strategically located between Asia and Europe that offered opportunities for Malaysia, including its palm oil and palm oil products.

“The market is there. What I’ve seen on this trip is that palm oil is a commodity that’s getting better and better understood. There’s increasing usage of this product,” he said.

In 2008, Turkey imported about 175,000 tonnes of palm oil and palm oil products from Malaysia valued at RM598 million or 122 million euros.

Dompok said a lot more marketing would need to be done for Malaysian palm oil to further boost its presence here.

He noted what was exciting about Turkey was that it was the gateway to the Black Sea and Central Asia as well as European countries.

“So I feel it’s a growing market with the benefit of a vast hinterland. This place is going to be attractive for us to position ourselves,”

Dompok had this to say to Malaysian palm oil producers back home: “The doors for palm oil are not closing; they are opening.

During POTS 2009 Turkey we managed to explain to future consumers the advantages of palm oil and answer some of the questions they may have about this crop,” he said.

Dompok and his entourage will head for Morocco today on a visit aimed at strengthening palm oil trade with the north African nation. by Muin Abdul Majid (BERNAMA)

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