PUTRAJAYA, Aug 25 (Bernama) -- Having the intellectual capability or being"street smart" will be critical in positioning the palm oil industry as apowerhouse in the oils and fats economy as the way ahead is full ofchallenges, Malaysia Palm Oil Association's (MPOA) chairman Datuk AbdulKhalid Ibrahim said Monday.
Being good at just producing the goods is no longer sufficient to staycompetitive as having the capacity to comprehend the development of thebig picture, employing the tools essential to keeping the industry aheadincluding having the sufficient knowledge of issues related to theindustry and having greater control of the internal and externalinfluences would be just as important, he said.
Eventhough, the palm oil industry has generated investments exceeding RM60billion for both public and private sector and offers the nationsubstantial foreign exchange earnings, it is just one of 17 majorcommodities traded.
In terms of the global supply of oils and fats, palm oil accounts for justabout one-fifth of total.
"Here, the statistics make clear that the environment that we are in isnot limited to understanding how to produce palm oil better or moreefficiently. We have to grasp understanding beyond productioncapabilities," Abdul Khalid said in his keynote address entitled "PalmOil:The Power-House for the Global Oils and Fats Economy," at theInternational Palm Oil Congress (PIPOC) 2003 here today.
"The palm oil industry of this era is increasingly knowledge-based... andcritically, as in any knowledge driven industry, engaging such industrywill require a wealth of market information that is reliable, accurate andtimely."
More importantly, there must be proper interpretation of such informationand the appropriate reaction to such intelligence by industry players, hesaid.
"With the better understanding of the industry, we should be able tobetter comprehend the mechanics of the industry or at least understand howwe have been pursuing the industry.
"Perhaps, helping us re-evaluate our position in this vast oils and fatseconomy," he said.
"While our capability to produce is well matched by our reach in exportingthe commodity, our influence in valuing the commodity remain much to bedesired, in terms of determining the market price of the commodity,whereby the influence on the value or price of such commodity remainedexternally driven."
There needs to be more focus on substantive decisions that actually drivethose demand, such as how to gain leadership in the oils and fats economy,he said.