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Mahamad Rodzi Abdul Ghani




Mahamad Rodzi Abdul Ghani





Ministry hails counter-trade arrangements for palm
09 April 2002 (Business Times) - THE PRIMARY Industries Ministry welcomesany counter-trade arrangements involving palm oil as it will help boostuptake of the commodity as well as enhance its standing overseas.“The ministry is more than willing to play its part in facilitating theinitiative as it will help penetrate new markets,” its minister Datuk SeriDr Lim Keng Yaik told reporters in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.Dr Lim had earlier addressed staff of his ministry during its monthlygathering and distributed pledge of allegiance “Aku Janji” certificates tothem.Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad had said last month thatMalaysia may partly pay the purchase of Poland’s PT-91 battle tanks in theform of palm oil.The counter trade of palm oil and palm oil products is not new forMalaysia as several arrangements had been made in the past.In 1994, Malaysia bought 18 MiG-29 Fulcrum fighter jets for a total ofUS$600 billion (US$1 = RM3.80) under an offset programme.It involved a cash payment of US$450 million, palm oil and palm oilproducts (US$95 million) and supply of other Malaysian products (US$55million).In October last year, US multinational, General Electric International,signed a US$60 million agreement with Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd (KTM)involving the purchase of 20 high-powered “Blue Tiger”.Under the deal, the locomotives are to be delivered beginning April 2003in exchange for 200,000 tonnes of palm oil and palm oil products valued atUS$60 million, to be delivered by the Pasir Gudang Edible Oils Group.The Government is also eyeing fighter jets from both the US and Russia, ofwhich Dr Lim had said last year that he attempted to squeeze at least 20per cent of the payment to be in the form of palm oil.Malaysia had also in May last year endorsed the participation of bothIndia and China in the double-tracking project which comes under a RM12billion counter-trade programme to promote demand for palm oil.The counter trade will see the delivery of around eight million tonnes ofpalm oil over a period of between five and six years to each country.Under the programme, India and China will undertake double-tracking workswhich involve the payment for rail contracts in crude palm oil.“Even though, the counter trade idea was suggested two years ago I hopethat the Transport Ministry and KTM would not have forgotten about it bynow.“The initiative can help the country’s economy as well as boost income ofsmallholders,” said Dr Lim.