The Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida) will continue to intensify promotional efforts at boosting investment in the production of higher value-added palm oil-based products.
These include the production of food substances, food ingredients, food additives and nutraceutical products, it said in the Malaysia Investment Performance Report 2018 released recently.
The government agency noted that being the second-largest palm oil producer and exporter globally, Malaysia assumes an important role to sustainably fulfil the global need for edible oils and fats.
“Investors should take note that the government is committed to promoting and growing the oil palm products industry. Throughout 2018, Mida participated in various awareness and outreach programmes,” it said.
In the report, Mida said for 2018, a total of 12 projects with investment totalling RM384 million were approved in the oil palm products industry.
Five were new and seven expansion/diversification projects.
Domestic investment dominated the industry, totalling RM332.7 million, with foreign direct investment amounting to RM51.3 million.
According to the Malaysian Palm Oil Board, Malaysia exported 24.8 million tonnes of oil palm products in 2018, contributing RM67.7 billion in revenue to the country’s overall economy.
This was a slight drop compared to 2017, with exports valued at RM77.8 billion, but a slight increase from 2017’s export figure of 24 million tonnes.
India emerged as the largest importer of Malaysian palm oil, followed by the European Union and China.
“But the US-China trade tensions have seen tit-for-tat tariffs creating chaos in agricultural markets and shifting trade flows. This is especially true for the soybean market, as soybeans are also used to produce oil.
“Given the uncertainty arising due to the trade war, investors remain nervous as they seek to adapt to the trade war’s effects on vegetable oils. Under the right conditions, palm oil may be a winner in this situation,” Mida said.