Tuesday 16 Jul 2024
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This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily on July 4, 2018

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian palm oil exporters have been encouraged to take advantage of the US and China trade dispute to promote more palm oil products to the Chinese market.

China said it will impose a 25% tariff on 545 US products, including soybean on July 6, in retaliation to a similar import tax hike by the US government.

Followed by China’s move to impose tariffs on US soybean oil, this could benefit Malaysia’s exporters as our palm oil and palm oil-related products will be more appealing to the Chinese market.

Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok Suh Sim said the trade disputes between the world’s two largest economies have provided opportunities for Malaysian palm oil exporters to offer their products to the Chinese market.

“Malaysia must also work hard to meet the possible increase in demand for agri-commodity products following the trade war between China and the US, since palm oil is a big revenue earner for Malaysia,” Kok said after the launch of the Eighth Malaysia-China Entrepreneur Conference (MCEC) yesterday.

Kok said the MCEC will be a good platform to promote Malaysia’s palm oil.

“Malaysia also welcomes investments from China in our downstream and value-added industry,” she added.

China is the third largest buyer of Malaysian palm oil and palm oil-related products. In 2017, China imported 1.92 million tonnes of palm oil from Malaysia, followed by India (2.03 million tonnes) and the European Union (1.99 million tonnes).

Last year, Malaysia exported RM19.1 billion of agri-commodity and agri-commodity-based products to China, swelling by 27% from RM15 billion in 2016.

The export surge was led by palm products valued at RM9.42 billion, followed by rubber and rubber products worth RM8.09 billion.

This year’s MCEC will be held in Nanjing, China — the third time the conference is being organised outside Malaysia. The MCEC aims to further promote and strengthen the bilateral trade and ties between Malaysia and China. The conference will focus on four major industries, including advanced manufacturing, the biomedical industry, agriculture and food industry, as well as tourism and service industry.

 

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