MOSCOW: Malaysia hopes to develop and strengthen bilateral relations
in the area of palm oil trade with Russia.
and Commodities Minister Tan Sri Bernard Dompok believes there are
opportunities for the private sector in the two countries to redefine
their business approaches to form partnerships and strategic alliances
to discover new avenues for expanding the edible oil and palm oil
“There are opportunities to explore investments in
downstream higher value added palm derivatives, such as oleochemicals,
pharmaceuticals, processed foods, specialty products and even consumer
brands,” he said at the opening of Malaysia-Russia Palm Oil Trade Fair
& Seminar 2010 (POTS 2010) here yesterday.
The POTS 2010 was
jointly organised by the Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) and Malaysian
Palm Oil Board (MPOB) in collaboration with the Russian Manufacturers
Association and the Russian Oils and Fats Manufacturers Association.
Also present at POTS 2010 were Malaysian Ambassador to Moscow Datuk
Mohamad Khalis, MPOC chairman Datuk Lee Yeow Chor, MPOB chairman Datuk
Hj Sabri Ahmad MPOB director general Datuk Dr Mohd Basri Wahid, MPOC
chief executive officer Tan Sri Yusof Basiron and other delegates from
According to Dompok, palm oil, together with
electronics and electrical products as well as iron and steel products,
accounted for 66.2% of the total Malaysian exports to Russia.
on palm products, he said palm oil had been recognised and accepted by
Russian consumers over the last 10 years.
He added that palm oil
consumption in Russia had gone up from just over 150,000 tonnes per
annum to almost 500,000 tonnes currently.
“It is very encouraging
to note that palm oil fits into the oils and fats market in Russia by
complementing its (Russia) successful sunflower oil industry,” he said.
In 2009, Malaysia produced 17.56 million tonnes, or 43.7%, of the
total palm oil production and exported 15.9 million tonnes, or 45% of
world palm exports.
Malaysia is the main supplier of palm oil for
the Russian market. Last year, Malaysian palm oil exports to Russia
stood at 210,809 tonnes with export value of about US$150mil.
the volume is not big, we acknowledge the importance of Russia as our
palm oil trading partners especially as a hub to the other CIS
(Commonwealth of Independent States) countries,” Dompok said.
forward, he said the oil and fats industry and trade were in an
exciting period with buoyant prices and strong growth in demand.
facing a host of challenges, including pressures from
environmentalists, I believe that if we commit to working together, we
can overcome these challenges.
“And will continue to reap the
huge benefits arising from the increasing demand for, and supply of palm
oil and its derivatives,” he said.
Dompok said although Malaysia
was being accused by environmentalists for cutting down trees to plant
palm trees, the country had at least 50% forest covered as compared with
Denmark (12%) and UK (20%).
On health issues pertaining to palm
oil, he said data showed that palm oil was safe for consumption.
Lee of MPOC hoped that a consensus can be reached in addressing the
technical and supply aspects of palm oil to achieve a “win-win
Meanwhile, Lee hoped that a consensus can be reached
in addressing the technical and supply aspects of palm oil to achieve a
“win-win situation” through dialogues and interactions between Malaysian
palm oil industry stakeholders and Russian decision makers.
such sharing of knowledge, we can assist both countries in improving
trade ties as well as to help settle impending issues that are present
in the trade such as the high import duties of up to 30% on certain palm
oil products,” he said.