(File pix) Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok. Pix by Mohd Yusni Ariffin

PUTRAJAYA: The Primary Industries Ministry will venture into more international markets to promote Malaysia’s palm oil.

Deputy Primary Industries Minister Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin said the ministry would approach Ethiopia and other North African countries to expand the palm oil market.

“North African and Egypt markets are very important for us to increase potential market for Malaysian palm oil, thus developing the palm oil industry,” he said during a press conference after the launching of the 38th Palm Oil Familiarisation Programme (POFP 2018).

Last week, minister Teresa Kok said countries such as the Philippines, Iran and Turkey as well as the West African Continent were among potential new markets in addition to maintaining existing main markets for Malaysia’s palm oil.

He said the ministry would also be signing an agreement to sell Malaysian palm oil to China.

Earlier Kok, in a speech read by Shamsul, said Malaysia has always been mindful of the challenges of developing palm oil and has applied appropriate best practices, including environmental impact assessments, in the development and operation of its palm oil industry.

“We have always been committed to maintaining at least 50 per cent of our land under forest and green cover.

“In fact, Malaysia is relentless in taking steps to ensure mandatory nationwide production of certified sustainable palm oil through the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification by end of 2019,” she said.

She added that the ministry through its agencies would also continue to work with relevant parties, especially in the European Union, to counter campaigns against palm oil and clarify issues, substantiated by scientific data evidence.