KUALA LUMPUR, June 3 (Bernama) -- Malaysia wants Poland to review theduties on the country's palm oil so that it will be at par with Indonesianpalm oil, Primary Industries Deputy Minister Datuk Anifah Aman said.
Duties on Indonesian crude palm oil (CPO) is 0 percent against 10 percentfor Malaysia and 0 to 17.5 percent for Indonesian refined palm oil against25.8 percent for Malaysia.
In a statement here Tuesday, Anifah said that during his meeting with topPolish officials, he drew their attention to the differential in dutiesbetween palm oil and other oils, which is adversely affecting imports ofpalm oil into the country namely 25.8 percent for palm oil against 15.8percent to 20 percent for other oils.
Anifah had just returned from a 13-day economic and technical mission toPoland, Ukraine and Romania from May 10-22, where he held discussions withthe relevant authorities on how to enhance bilateral trade relations interms of trade in commodities in general and palm oil and cocoa inparticular.
Anifah said that the delegation was informed that the discriminatory dutywould be removed after Poland joins the European Union (EU) in May 2004.
During the meeting with Polish officials, he also mentioned about theundertaking contract signed on April, 2003 to set up refineries andoleochemical plant as part of the package for the purchase of Main BattleTank, so that interested Malaysian parties could participate.
"I also discuss the counter purchase arrangement involving palm oil andrubber products, valued at US$111.2 million, as part payment for thecontract of Main Battle Tank.
"I recommended that a special team be formed to negotiate the totality ofcounter purchase agreement and to work out the details between thesupplier of the Main Battle Tank and the supplier of palm oil inMalaysia," e said.
Anifah said that Poland would gain by importing palm oil which wascomparatively cheaper and develop blending possibilities with theirrapeseed, for example to produce biofuel and margarine products.
He suggested further research collaboration be carried out in blendingboth oils.
In Kiev, Ukraine, Anifah mentioned that if the authority could relax entryvisa, more private sector will trade and invest in that country.
He also said that the Malaysian private sector wanted Ukraine tostandardise trading procedures namely the arbitration procedure.
Anifah also mentioned that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamadwould be visiting Ukraine this month to enhance bilateral relations.
During his meeting with relevant Romanian authorities, Anifah urgedRomania to import palm oil directly from Malaysia rather than throughthird country which will be more costly.
He also discussed Malaysia's offer of US$10 million (RM38 millon) creditunder Palm Oil Credit Payment Arrangement (PPOCPA) scheme and requestedthe country to avail herself of the facility as soon as possible.
However Romanian authorities said that they needed to study the offerfurther and hopefully could be concluded in due course, he said.
Anifah suggested that both countries embark on counter trade wherebyMalaysia would export palm oil and import Romania's products such aslorries, trucks and machineries through a consortium.
He also requested Romania to reduce its tariff on cocoa from 33 percent to5.0 percent to be at par with EU countries.
Overall, Anifah said there was great potential for the palm oil market inthe three countries. -- BERNAMA