Lim, Indon minister to hold palm oil talks with Indian counterpart.14 March 2001 (Business Times) - Primary Industries Minister Datuk Seri DrLim Keng Yaik and Indonesian Trade and Industry Minister Luhut Pandjaitanhave postponed their palm oil promotion visit to India to next week.
They were supposed to have left for New Delhi last Monday but delayed thetrip as one of the ministers had to attend to some matters, sources said.
Malaysia is the world's largest producer of palm oil, followed byIndonesia.
The three-day joint visit will see the two ministers holdinggovernment-level talks with the Indian ministers of trade and industry andfinance.
Dr Lim will be accompanied by several government officials which includesthe Malaysian Palm Oil Promotion Council (MPOPC) chief executive DatukHaron Siraj.
Discussions will centre, among others, on marketing and promotions,research and development (R and D), India's duty structure and bettermarket access.
The joint visit was mooted during Dr Lim's visit to Indonesia two weeksago.
Dr Lim was quoted as saying that the two countries have agreed not tocompete with each other by forming a world palm oil association.
The association is aimed at lifting sagging world palm oil prices and bothcountries will cooperate for better market access into China and India.
India is the biggest buyer of Malaysia's palm oil with over 2 milliontonnes bought in 1999 and last year.
Malaysia has been fiercely competing with Indonesia for the Indian marketwith Malaysia's stock at 11 million tonnes of palm oil and Indonesia at 8million tonnes.
Indonesia has continued to have the upperhand by selling its palm oil atUS$10 (RM1 = US$3.80) cheaper compared to Malaysia.
As a move to protect its domestic edible oils industry such as coconut,rapeseed, sunflower and mustard oils, India had raised its duty structureto its local importers three times last year and once this year lastFebruary 28.
The source added that the joint visit to China on a similar issue willmost likely take place once China becomes a full-fledged member of theWorld Trade Organisation.