06/08/05 KUALA LUMPUR, (Bernama) -- Malaysian companies need to maintaintheir leadership in the palm oil industry in view of increasingcompetition, especially in terms of their profitability and production,says John K. Kuruvilla, managing director of OILPALMWORLD, an e-commercewebsite dedicated to the palm oil industry.
"There is an urgent need for them to review and realign themselves bytaking into consideration the life cycle positions of the varioussub-sectors of the industry's supply chain in terms of productivity andcompetitiveness," he said in an interview.
Malaysia currently accounts for 51 percent of world palm oil productionand 62 percent of world exports. This also translates into 8.0 percent and22 percent of the world's total production and exports of oils and fats.
Last year, Malaysia produced a record level of 13.98 million tonnes ofcrude palm oil, up 4.7 percent or 630,000 tonnes from 2003. These areproduced from 3.87 million hectares under oil palm in the country. Sabahhas the largest land area under oil palm at 1.2 million hectares.
Export earnings of oil palm products rose to RM 30.41 billion in 2004.
Kuruvilla said given that the Malaysian palm oil industry is at thecrossroads today, industry players must learn their lessons from the lossof the country's lead in the rubber industry," he said, adding that "wemust not suffer the same fate."
As such, he said the promoters of OILPALMWORLD had established a virtualmarket place to help the Malaysian palm oil industry enhance itscompetitiveness and productivity.
Kuruvilla said OILPALMWORLD is the first comprehensive palm oile-marketplace with the vision to create a successful e-community for theglobal palm oil industry and establish Malaysia as the electronic hub forthe palm oil industry and trade.
The promoters had pumped in RM6.2 million for the first phase of theportal's development and another RM10 million would be expended in PhaseTwo.
Kuruvilla explained that the promoters of OILPALMWORLD strongly believedthat the Malaysian palm oil industry should transform itself into a moreknowledge-based industry by taking advantage of the Internet revolution.
"By conducting most of their business transactions electronically throughthe Internet, it would be able to significantly increase speed andtransparency while reducing cost of doing business and thus become morecompetitive in a global environment. Such a move will also limit space andgeographical limitations of national boundaries.
"Consequently, taking advantage of better management of availableknowledge of the global supply chain, Malaysian palm oil industry playerswould be well positioned to continue as the global leaders and dealmakers."
OILPALMWORLD, a one-stop B2B electronic exchange for all commercefunctions of the global palm oil industry, will be launched on Tuesdayduring the forthcoming Commodities Week.
It brings together buyers, sellers, plantation owners, refiners, traders,brokers, consultants, equipment manufacturers, fertiliser manufacturers,chemical suppliers, logistics providers, bankers, insurers, governmentagencies, research houses and other users.
Kuruvilla said it would provide a borderless e-commerce platform for usersto carry out day-to-day business transactions round the clock.
OILPALMWORLD is supported by the National Information Technology Council(NITC), Malaysian Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI),Malaysian Institute of Microelectronic Systems Berhad (MIMOS) and backedby the Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities (MPIC),Multimedia Development Corporation (MDC), Malaysian Palm Oil Association(MPOA), Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) and the Malaysian Palm OilPromotion Council (MPOPC).
OILPALMWORLD currently has 526 registered users from 59 countries.Malaysian companies account for about 55 percent of the total. Other usersare from India, Singapore, China, the Netherlands, Germany, Egypt, SaudiArabia, UAE, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea and USA.
Kuruvilla said the website currently receives an average of 20,000 hitsper day.
Besides featuring the latest news on the industry, OILPALMWORLD alsoprovides the following services:
OPW@Trade, a digital marketplace tailored for trading in physical palm oilin which traders, sub-traders, brokers and sub-brokers trade in a ClosedUser Groups (CUG). The highlight of this module is the ability to extendone's reach among a large pool of potential buyers and to discover thebest prices for trades;
OPW@Procure, a procurement workflow automation product for enterprisesaimed at connecting all principal nodes of an enterprise purchasingprocess; and OPW@Business Management, which offers light tools to assistin business operations such as industry member information, banking andfinance, insurance, good agricultural practices, training, logistics,tender management, recruitment, project management, joint venture andleasing.
Cosville Holdings Sdn Bhd is the holding company of OILPALMWORLD.Incorporated in 1996, the principal activities of the company includeinvestment holding and the provision of consultancy and management.
Cosville also has shareholdings in PT Agro Indomas, which is a US$50million plantation company of 18,000 hectares in Indonesia, and BarclayResources Sdn. Bhd., a human resource training company. Cosville'sdirectors also have some 28 years of expertise between them in the palmoil industry.