KARACHI: High level Malaysian delegation headed by the Datuk Seri Shamsul Iskandar bin Mohd Akin, Deputy Minister of Primary Industries in Malaysia along-with the Secretary General of Malaysian Palm Oil Ministry and other high profile officials from Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) and Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) visited Karachi to attend the Pakistan Edible Oil Conference, here on Saturday.

Before attending Pakistan Edible Oil Conference Datuk Seri Shamsul Iskandar bin Mohd Akin held a press conference to outline the objectives of Malaysian delegation’s visit to Pakistan Edible Oil Conference (PEOC) 2019.

He congratulated the organizers of Pakistan Edible Oil Conference for hosting a successful conference yet again in this beautiful city of Karachi.

He said “it is very encouraging to see that PEOC, which was first held in 2016, has become a permanent feature on the oils and fats conferences calendar of the region and attracts speakers and delegates not only in Pakistan but also from many other countries including from Malaysia. The main aim of this conference is to enrich all participants with the latest knowledge and developments pertaining to the global oils and fats industry especially that of the palm oil industry. In addition, this event has also become a platform for industry players to network and to meet the expanding needs in the palm oil industry.”

He said Malaysia had always looked upon Pakistan as a special palm oil partner, given the special bonding between the major Pakistani and Malaysian oils and fats industry players. Over the years, the oils and fats trade between these two countries has expanded to products like oleo-chemicals, palm kernel expeller, cooking oil, confectionary fats and many other products being used by the food and non-food industries in Pakistan. This is reflected in the volume of Malaysian palm oil exported to Pakistan in 2017 which stood at 1.02 million MT, which was an increase of more than 15 percent compared to the previous year. As of November of 2018, Malaysian palm oil exports to Pakistan exceeded the volume exported in 2017 and it stood at 1.06 million MT, an impressive feat indeed. The value of Malaysian palm oil exported to Pakistan by end of November 2018 was about $650 million.

“I wish to see this relationship grow and continue to prosper to even greater heights. I would like to take this opportunity to extend my personal assurance to all of you present that we will continue to provide you with the tools and assistance to achieve your objectives to further enhance the trade in Malaysian palm oil. Our current governments are also keen to extend such excellent relationships we enjoy,” he said.

He said Malaysia and Pakistan had a very long-standing palm oil trade relationship, one that can be traced back more than 40 years. This trade as well as diplomatic relationship was further strengthened by the recent visit of Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Imran Khan to Malaysia and his subsequent meetings with Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohammed. Among the important agreement reached was the partial abolition of visa for travel between the two countries. The visit also underlined the significance and importance Malaysia attaches to its relationship with Pakistan, encompassing several key economic and social agendas. The visit also gave an opportunity for both leaders to exchange views on a range of global and regional issues of common concern”.

He said Pakistan’s oils and fats market had grown significantly, from 2.7 million metric tonnes in 2000 to over 4.4 million metric tonnes in 2017. The market has grown by almost double over this time and palm oil alone accounted for more than 50 percent of this total. Pakistan has always been among the most consistent buyers of Malaysian palm oil products and palm oil features as a major component of the growing bilateral trade between our two countries. He was very optimistic on palm oil’s performance in Pakistan and said; “the strengthening of Malaysian palm oil in Pakistan is achieved through strong cooperation between the two countries. In fact, Pakistan is among the first export destinations in which Malaysia has major investments in bulking installation and refineries, the liquid cargo jetty dedicated for the handling of palm oil.