Malaysia is taking measures to increase palm oil exports, including opening up new markets in Turkey, Iran and Pakistan, says Deputy Primary Industries Minister Shamsul Iskandar Md Akin.
He said these countries are important, especially Turkey, which is a gateway to the European Union market.
“I will be flying to Pakistan later today to attend the Pakistan Edible Oil Conference and subsequently, visit Iran and Turkey to form ties with their respective trade and health ministers,” he told reporters when met at the Palm Oil Economic Review and Outlook Seminar 2019 in Putrajaya today.
Meanwhile, Shamsul Iskandar said Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s letter to French President Emmanuel Macron was the first step in Malaysia’s fight to uphold the truth and put a stop to campaigns against the palm oil industry.
Yesterday, Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah said Malaysia had handed over a letter to French ambassador Frédéric Laplanche on Jan 14, explaining its position on the French National Assembly’s decision on Dec 19, 2018, to declassify palm oil as biodiesel feedstock and to end tax incentives for palm oil as of 2020.
“We will not keep quiet and will go all out to speak the truth. Studies by the World Bank have shown that oil palm planting has helped poverty alleviation efforts and bridged the income gap between urban and rural communities,” said Shamsul Iskandar.
On the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) recently published study on the palm oil industry, he said Malaysia wanted the world body to retract and rectify its recent wrongful allegations of likening palm oil marketing to that of lobbying from the tobacco and alcohol industries.
“It is very disturbing for the WHO to equate lobbying of palm oil to that of tobacco and alcohol. It’s not true. As a global body, WHO should be professional and responsible with its statements. We will use all channels to have it retract and rectify this wrongful report in its bulletin,” he said.