Date : 8th January 2019
Venue : The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur
Reach & Remind, Friends of the Industry Seminar 2019 and Dialogue is an annual seminar organised by Malaysian Palm Oil Council, MPOC with the objective to highlight important issues and opportunities in the Malaysian palm oil industry by way of a seminar –cum- dialogue and also exhibition. The 10th edition of Reach & Remind, Friends of the Industry Seminar 2019 & Dialogue (R&R 2019) was held on 8th January 2019 at the majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur.
The event was graced by YB Teresa Kok, Minister of Primary Industries (MPI). It was also attended by Deputy Minister of Primary Industries, Malaysia, YB Datuk Seri Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin, Secretary General of MPI, Dato’ Dr. tan Yew Chong, Chairman of Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB), Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Mohd Bakke Salleh, Chairman of MPOC, Dato’ Lee Yeow Chor, Director-General of MPOB, Datuk Dr. Ahmad Kushairi Din and Chief Executive Officer of MPOC, Datuk Dr. Kalyana Sundram. Stakeholders and members of the palm oil industry throughout Malaysia turned up for the event, giving their full support as this is the first R&R event officiated by YB Teresa Kok. A total of 500 participants turned up for the event with active participation from all stakeholders during the dialogue with YB Minister.
The event began with the welcoming remarks by Datuk Dr. Kalyana Sundram, Chief Executive Officer of MPOC. Datuk Dr. Kalyana Sundram thanked all participants for their continuous support and participation in R&R 2019. He also highlighted that the R&R platform is a great opportunity for members of the industry to meet and engage with YB Minister through dialogue that debates upcoming challenges and opportunities in the current year and beyond.
During the seminar, three papers were presented; Dato’ Wan Latiff Bin Wan Musa, Deputy CEO of MATRADE, on “Assessing New Markets for Malaysian Commodities in 2019 – Challenges and Opportunities” followed by En. Zulazwer Bin Hassan of Bank Negara Malaysia, on “Foreign Exchange Administration Act – Updates and Implications”. The final paper was presented by Datuk Dr. Kalyana Sundram, on “Creating and Implementing Enhanced Global Outreach for Malaysian Palm Oil”.
YB Puan Teresa Kok, Minister of Primary Industries, Malaysia presented the keynote address to set out the industry’s direction for 2019. YB Minister acknowledges that 2018 has been an eventful year for the palm oil industry, where the industry faced challenges in the form of lower prices but through vigorous promotional activities by MPOC and with the support of the industry, the impact was minimised. For 2018, India retains its position as the number one importer of Malaysian palm oil with more than 2 million MT imported and likely again to be the main destination for 2019. Other main destinations for Malaysian palm oil are China, the EU, Pakistan and USA.
The industry has contributed tremendously towards economic growth and raising the incomes of the oil palm planters, in particular the smallholders. Through the efforts of the Government, oil palm cultivation has been an enabler and contributed multiplier effects to the other sub-sectors of the industry.
The Ministry and other agencies are consistently monitoring and taking steps to address any anti-palm oil campaigns and addressing any negative issues related to palm oil cultivation and its production. The EU Palm Oil and Deforestation Resolution is a major challenge for palm oil producing countries. YB Minister urged industry members to actively participate in all promotion and product expansion efforts to build stronger market among those who already value Malaysian palm oil.
During R&R 2019, YB Minister Teresa Kok also officiated the soft launch of “Love MY Palm Oil” campaign which was her own brainchild. The campaign is launched to instil national pride and greater appreciation towards Malaysian sustainable palm oil, focusing on its socio-economic, health and nutrition benefits as well as its food and non-food applications.
This is a strategy to educate Malaysians on the importance of palm oil and to reject any anti – palm oil campaigns which may affect the industry. The year-long campaign will feature many events and activities for different stakeholders including industry members, professionals, students, academia and the public. The programmes include Palm Oil Student Ambassadors from Universities, cooking competitions using palm oil in schools, tree planting projects, palm display in airports, seminars, roadshows and exhibitions. YB Minister encouraged industry players to vigorously support and participate in the events to make the campaign a big success. During the soft launch, a special video message from our beloved Prime Minister, YAB Tun Dr. Mahathir Bin Mohamad was also shown which he emphasized the importance of palm oil to the people and the nation’s economy and further urged Malaysians to support the palm oil industry and refuse any negative campaigns against palm oil.
At the soft launch, Dato’ Wah Idris, a famous singer and song-writer presented a melodious song specially composed in conjunction with the campaign highlighting the positive attributes and the importance of Malaysian palm oil. YB Minister also presented “Palm Oil Student Ambassador” certificates to representatives from Help University and University Putra Malaysia. A total of 240 students participated in the first batch of the “Palm Oil Student Ambassadors” programme held recently.
The final segment of the event featured the dialogue session with YB Minister, chaired by MPOC Chairman, Dato’ Lee Yeow Chor. During the dialogue, YB Minister was also joined by Datuk Seri Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin, Dato’ Dr. Tan Yew Chong, Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Mohd Bakke Salleh, Datuk Dr. Ahmad Kushairi Din and Datuk Dr. Kalyana Sundram. Among issues highlighted were Malaysian palm oil sustainability and certification, incentives and opportunities for downstream development, pressure on palm oil export to EU and its impact on smallholders, opportunities for expanding current product market and exploring new markets.