Malaysia aims to resolve palm oil trade dispute with India within a month; to send a delegation soon to improve ties

After India’s January curbs on imports of refined palm oil from Malaysia, traders had also held off on buying its crude palm oil.

Reuters March 11, 2020 17:59:35 IST
Malaysia aims to resolve palm oil trade dispute with India within a month; to send a delegation soon to improve ties
  • Malaysia will look to expand its exports to new markets, such as Russia and the Middle East, the minister said

  • After India’s January curbs on imports of refined palm oil from Malaysia, traders had also held off on buying its crude palm oil

  • India put curbs in January on purchases, in retaliation for then prime minister Mahathir Mohamad’s criticism of its policy on Kashmir and a new citizenship law

Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia has set itself a target of a month within which to resolve its trade dispute with India over palm oil, the southeast Asian nation’s new commodities minister said on Wednesday.

The deadline follows this week’s swearing-in of a new Malaysian cabinet after Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin took office last month.

“One of the first moves for the new government is to rebuild the relationship with India, especially for the palm oil issue,” Commodities Minister Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali told reporters after the first meeting of the new cabinet.

Malaysia aims to resolve palm oil trade dispute with India within a month to send a delegation soon to improve ties

Representational image of palm oil seeds. Reuters.

India, the biggest buyer of Malaysian palm oil for five years, put curbs in January on purchases, in retaliation for then prime minister Mahathir Mohamad’s criticism of its policy on Kashmir and a new citizenship law.

Mohd Khairuddin said he wanted to send a delegation to India as soon as possible in the effort to improve ties.

“We will put this on the ministry’s first agenda,” he told reporters. “I set a timeframe of a month.”

Malaysia, the second-biggest producer of crude palm oil after Indonesia, will look to expand its exports to new markets, such as Russia and the Middle East, he added.

After India’s January curbs on imports of refined palm oil from Malaysia, traders had also held off on buying its crude palm oil.

Malaysia’s exports to India dropped 54 percent last month from January, data showed this week.

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