Malaysia's Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok (second from right) officiated at the opening of the Palm Oil Trade and Seminar held at Mumbai, India today. Among key policymakers accompanying her are Malaysian Palm Oil chairman Datuk Lee Yeow Chor (far right) and Malaysian Palm Oil Board chairman Tan Sri Bakke Salleh (second from left). -- NSTP/OOI TEE CHING

KUALA LUMPUR: Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok is leading a Palm Oil and Rubber Economic and Investment Mission to India beginning yesterday to strengthen trade relations between New Delhi and Putrajaya.

The five-day mission is also aimed to address issues related to trade as well as exploring market and investment opportunities, particularly in palm oil and rubber.

“India and Malaysia share a long-rooted historical and cultural commonality, as well as good relationship, which has over time developed and helped craft the landscape for economic and commercial relations between our countries,” the ministry said in a statement here, today.

The delegation comprises representatives from the ministry, Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB), Malaysian Rubber Board (MRB), Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) and Malaysian Rubber Export Promotion Council (MREPC).

The ministry said Malaysia had always looked upon India as a strategic and important trade partner which trade had evolved from items such as spices, clothing, and food to current items such as commodities, particularly palm oil and rubber.

Malaysia's Primary Industries Industries Minister Teresa Kok (left) discusses palm oil trade with India's Solvent Extractor Association president Atul Chaturvedi (right). -- NSTP/OOI TEE CHING

In 2018, India was the third-largest importer of palm oil and palm oil-based products valued at RM6.84 billion or 10.1 per cent of the total national palm oil and palm oil-based products exports.

While for the rubber sector, India imported 1.5 per cent of the total national export of rubber and rubber products which amounted to RM476.56 million.

During the mission, the minister will attend the Malaysia-India Palm Oil Trade Fair & Seminar (POTS) 2019 in Mumbai that is aimed to provide support to Malaysian palm oil industries in developing and enhancing trade opportunities in India, as well as exploring business collaboration and to furnish the latest development in the oils and fats industry.

Kok is also scheduled to attend Educational Seminar: Managing Infection Control-Selecting The Right Gloves, organised by MREPC in New Delhi, with an objective to educate medical practitioners in India on the importance and properties of medical gloves for infection control, as well as to promote Malaysian rubber medical gloves among medical practitioners and healthcare workers in India.

Other programmes included bilateral discussions with Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of Food Processing Industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Minister of Health & Family Welfare Harsh Vardhan.

The minister is also expected to have a networking dinner and dialogue with the local business community and Malaysian diaspora as part of the efforts to increase promotional efforts on palm nutrition and rubber gloves, among others.

The Palm Oil and Rubber Economic and Investment Mission to India is part of the ministry’s ongoing activities to promote products based on palm oil and rubber to key markets especially countries in South Asia. – BERNAMA

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