KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 22 (Bernama) - A record number of 1,430 participantsfrom 45 countries have signed up for the five-day biennial InternationalPalm Oil Congress (PIPOC) 2003 to be held in Putrajaya for the first timebeginning Sunday.
The theme for this year's congress is "Palm Oil: The PowerHouse for theGlobal Oils and Fats Economy."
The theme was chosen to reflect the pivotal role of palm oil in creatingbusiness opportunities for both producing and consuming countries, saidDatuk Dr Yusof B. Basiron, director-general of the Malaysian Palm OilBoard, the organiser of 2003 PIPOC.
He said there were too many applications this year and MPOB had to turndown many of them, especially last minute entries due to spaceconstraints.
Despite having to pay extra for being late, most of the late-comers werewilling to pay, he said.
This, he said, also reinforced the pivotal role of the congress for theoils and fats economy, Dr Yusof said in an interview.
2003 PIPOC will also have 72 exhibitors and some of them even booked theirslots immediately after 2001 PIPOC.
Participants at the congress usually range from palm oil growers,processors, exporters, traders, handling companies, importers, technologyand service suppliers and manufacturers to scientists and policymakers.
Of the total, 1,047 participants are from Malaysia followed by those fromIndonesia, West Asia, India, Pakistan and the United States.
The participants are expected to review and evaluate various aspects ofbusiness business opportunities in palm oil compared to other oils andfats.
"We would like to know how we can maintain palm oil's pivotal role in theoils and fats industry," said Dr Yusof.
Palm oil accounts for about 21 percent of the world's production and 46percent of the world's trade in oils and fats in 2002.
Primary Industries Minister Datuk Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik will officiate atthe opening ceremony of 2003 PIPOC, which is also known as the singlelargest international congress on palm oil as it features technicalpresentations by 145 international and local speakers.
As for new technologies to be unveiled at the congress, Dr Yusof said theywould revolve around the use of palm oil biomass and oleochemicals.
The congress is to be broken up into the agriculture conference, chemistryand technology conference, food technology and nutrition conference,oleochemicals conference and economic and marketing conference.
Among the prominent speakers at 2003 PIPOC are MPOB chairman Tan SriKhalid Ibrahim who will deliver a keynote address on "Positioning Palm Oilas the Power House for the Global Oils & Fats Economy." This session willbe chaired by the chief executive officer of Malaysian Palm Oil PromotionCouncil, Datuk Haron Siraj.
Other speakers include the senior director of Multilateral Trade Policyand Negotiations in the Ministry of International Trade & Industry, EncikOoi Say Chuan, who will speak on "The Doha Round: Position on Agriculturewith Special Reference to Oils and Fats Trade", Prof. Mark Wahlqvist fromthe International Union of Nutrition Scientists, Australia who will touchon "Current Recommendations on Dietary Fats and Health."
The acting chief executive officer of Pusat Tenaga Malaysia, Ahmad ZairinIsmail, will speak on "Renewable Energy: Policy & Management in Malaysia"while Prof. Dr. R. J, Haynes, chair and deputy head of AppliedEnvironmental Sciences at the University of Natal in South Africa willtalk on "Soil quality evaluation for increased oil palm yield production."
Dr. Luigi Rigano, director of the Institute of Skin & Product Evaluationin Italy will be speaking on "Use and advantages of palm oil derivativesin decorative cosmetics." There will also be two evening fora entitled,"Refining Plantation Technology for Sustainable Production: The Path toEco-Economy" and "Carbon Credit and Palm Oil Industry."