Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof who was in China for a trade discussion on palm oil said that the country with a population of around 1.4 billion has committed to increasing palm oil imports to 3.4 million tonnes next year compared with the estimated 3.14 million tonnes so far.
China has been Malaysia’s largest trading partner for the past 14 years.
In 2022, the value of Malaysia’s agri-commodity exports to China contributed 12.8 percent of Malaysia’s total agricultural commodity exports in the international market with a value of RM26.46 billion, an increase of 11 percent compared with 2021.
The value of palm oil-based products exports to China in 2022 was RM16.41 billion while the value of Malaysia’s palm oil exports to China in the same year was RM8.44 billion.
“Whatever we discussed and presented, they welcomed it and are committed to increase trade with our country,” he told the media at the end of his official visit to China.
The visit is also in conjunction with the 10th anniversary of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between Malaysia and China and next year, both countries will celebrate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations.
Fadillah also held a meeting with 62 Chinese stakeholders during the High-Level Roundtable Meeting, where topics of discussion included strategies to enhance cooperation with China, especially in the application of palm oil in the value chain.
Fadillah said both governments would strive to resolve trade issues involving Malaysian palm tocotrienols (vitamin E) to China. Both parties will also encourage cooperation between research institutes to conduct studies on the latest technology applications in the commodity industry.
Fadillah said due to restrictions relating to the European Union Deforestation Regulation (EUDR), Malaysia could no longer open new plantations starting in 2020.
“We need to focus on how we can increase the productivity of oil production from the area of palm plantations we have so that not only can we meet domestic needs but also increase exports to other countries to cater for demand from outside of the country.
“Besides that, we also need to expand the market for palm oil to other countries as well.
“Türkiye is one of the countries that is currently our focus. The amount of palm oil imports from that country is increasing,” he said.
He said the ministry also aimed to increase Malaysia’s palm oil market to India, Egypt, other Arab countries, and other countries in Africa.