KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia should take advantage of its recent cooperation with Egypt by establishing an oil hub or redistribution centre, according to the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB).

Its director-general Datuk Dr Ahmad Parveez Ghulam Kadir emphasised the mutual benefits of the initiative, highlighting the promising results from the current mission, which underscored both nations' eagerness to cooperate in investments within the agro-commodities sectors and bulking facilities.

"By leveraging Egypt's strategic position and ability to re-export to neighbouring countries, Malaysia can consider establishing a hub for Malaysian palm-based downstream products at one of Egypt's major ports.

"This will enable us to provide the required palm-based downstream products to the industry promptly and efficiently," Ahmad Parveez told Business Times.

The proposed hub in Egypt would serve as a vital link in the distribution chain, ensuring timely delivery of palm oil products to markets in the Middle East and North Africa.

"This can also encourage small quantity imports by Egyptian industry members directly from Malaysian exporters, thus eliminating the additional cost of dealing with a third party," said Ahmad Parveez.

In addition, Ahmad Parveez said Malaysia could establish its distribution hub in the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZONE), which provides facilities that could enhance the market presence of Malaysian palm-based products in the region.

Therefore, he said the Malaysian oil palm industry could consider investing in bulking facilities in Egypt to gain market share in this region.

"Egypt, with its unique geography, has high potential to be an economic and industrial hub, linking Europe, the Middle East and Africa - a unique trade triangle connected to the world via the Suez Canal.

"Additionally, Egypt is a key participant in some of the world's most prominent trade agreements such as African Continental Free Trade Area, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa and Egypt Free Trade Agreement, to name a few," he said.

Moving forward, Ahmed Parveez said Malaysia should explore investing in higher-value retail products of the downstream sector in Egypt.

This can be achieved through partnership arrangements and strategic alliances with local partners in the market.

"These initiatives could be joint efforts between Malaysian palm oil stakeholders and the Egyptian Businessmen's Association (EBA), enhancing and strengthening the importance of the oil palm industry and other commodities like timber and rubber in contributing to Egypt's economic and social development productivity," he added.

Plantation and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani recently led a Malaysian delegation to Egypt and Turkiye for a working visit from May 27 to June 1.

In Cairo, he was received by Egypt's Supply and Internal Trade Minister Dr Ali El Moselhi.

During his visit, Johari discussed with Dr Ali to strengthen bilateral cooperation between the two countries as well as business leaders in the palm oil industry.

He said Egypt will remain Malaysia's key trading partner as the government sets to expand its palm oil exports to South Africa and the Middle East.

""I am confident that Egypt's strategic geographical location would enhance our nations' economic prosperities.

"In our discussions, I emphasised to the Egyptian government regarding Malaysia's commitment to providing Egypt with a steady supply of high quality and sustainable palm oil certified by our locally-developed certification standard, MSPO.

"I look forward to further cooperating with His Excellency Dr Ali to ensure mutually beneficial trade relations," he said in a posting on X.




Sumber : New Straits Times