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Date
 17/07/2006
News Provider
 Mahamad Rodzi Abdul Ghani
News Source
 Bernama
Headline
 No Politics In M'sia's Supply Of Palm Oil To North Korea

PUTRAJAYA, July 13 (Bernama) -- There is no politics in Malaysia's supply of palm oil to North Korea under a credit scheme, and if anything, it reflects the consistency of Malaysia in its credit arrangement policy, Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister, Datuk Dr Peter Chin Fah Kui, said Thursday.

He said this when asked if there was any political implication for signing an MoU with North Korea for the palm oil credit facility when it is being widely criticised over its recent move to test-launch several missiles.

Malaysia and North Korea today signed a third memorandum of understanding for the supply of another US$20 million (US$1 = RM3.66) worth of palm oil to North Korea under the Palm Oil Credit Payment Arrangement (Pocpa).

Chin said the supply was in response to the North Korean government's request and the US$20 million worth of supply was based on the counter-trade arrangement (Pocpa).

Earlier, Chin and North Korea's Minister of Foreign Trade, Rim Kyong Man, signed the MoU.

North Korea was extended the palm oil credit facility in 2000 and 2002 with a value of US$10 million both times.

Chin said no politics was involved and that it was a matter of credit facility given to North Korea by Malaysia due to the difficulties faced by the country in getting sufficient supply of oils and fats.

The facility was given to North Korea in 2000 on that grounds, he said.

The minister said Rim had met him in July 2005 to officially request for palm oil as the country was facing difficulties getting sufficient oils and fats due to drought.

He explained that a special internal committee in the ministry was formed earlier this year to evaluate the latest request and subsequently it was approved. The committee then recommended the evaluation to the Cabinet before it was approved last month.

The decision was made long before the test firing of the missiles, Chin added.

He also said Malaysia would continue to penetrate other non-traditional markets, especially through the Pocpa mechanism, as a strategic and effective way to promote local palm oil to the rest of the world.

Introduced in 1991, Pocpa was intended to promote Malaysian palm oil in established markets as well as to facilitate its import into new markets.

This facility has served as a valuable tool to develop trade and economic relations between Malaysia and other countries, Chin said in his speech earlier.

To date, he added a total of 22 countries have been offered Pocpa credit and eight countries have utilised the facility, including North Korea.

From the US$500.0 million allocated by the Government for the facility, the credit utilised so far amounts to US$245 million.

Under the scheme, the Malaysian government offers a two-year credit facility to recipient countries in return for their commitment to buy Malaysian palm oil by means of long-term contract.

-- BERNAMA

ECONOMICS & INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENT DIVISION
Malaysian Palm Oil Board ( MPOB ) Lot 6, SS6, Jalan Perbandaran, 47301 Kelana Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan, MALAYSIA.
Tel : 603 - 7802 2800 || Fax : 603 - 7803 3533