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Malaysia turns to Africa after India rebuke on palm oil

Christian Fernsby |
Malaysia has intensified efforts to explore new markets, including African continent, for one of its main exports, palm oil, after India unofficially reduced its imports over former’s Kashmir statement.

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Topics: MALAYSIA    PALM    OIL   

Country’s primary industries ministry said on Friday that since some countries in Africa home to 1.2 billion people are witnessing rapid economic growth, it is feasible for Malaysia to look for buyers of its palm oil.

"Malaysian palm oil has a vast potential in these African countries, which are supported by strong economic growth that could directly boost demand for cooking oil," Minister Teresa Kok told country's Bernama news agency.

The statement came after Solvent Extractors’ Association of India asked its 875 members to stop buying Malaysian palm oil due to Malaysia's Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s firm stance over the Kashmir issue.

Mahathir said New Delhi had "invaded and occupied" Jammu and Kashmir during his address in New York City and refused to budge from his statement calling the UN to intervene and solve the dispute.

Minister Kok said that palm oil is one of the most affordable cooking oils compared to soybean, sunflower and olive oil.

Ethiopia is one of the potential buyers of the palm oil as the country home to 100 million has recorded a "stunning economic growth rate of 9-11%," she said.

After the India hit, Malaysia will most likely lose a lot in foreign exchange as India is the world’s biggest importer of palm oil.

She added that Japan and South Korea also expressed interest in importing Malaysian palm oil. Europe is Malaysia's second largest market for the same oil.

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