06.11.2019 (The Borneo Post) - KUALA LUMPUR: No country will benefit from a trade war, says a trade expert.
Asean-India Business Council (AIBC) co-chairman, Datuk Ramesh Kodammal said whenever there is a trade war, businesses suffer and ultimately, it translates to the people on the ground.
“Such trade spats will not benefit any country, be it the ones that started the war, or others that are not directly involved. The business community should remain neutral on this issue and instead focus on growing their businesses,” he told Bernama when commenting on the ongoing issue between Malaysia-India over palm oil.
There have been numerous calls by Indian trade associations for importers to shun palm oil from Malaysia, taking cue from New Delhi’s protest against Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s remarks on the Kashmir conflict, at the United Nations.
Ramesh also advised trade associations in Malaysia not to jump the gun in issuing statements which can aggravate the palm oil issue and give room for both governments to resolve the matter amicably.
He said this is also because the Indian government had yet to state anything officially, with regard to the purchase of palm oil from Malaysia.
“Malaysia and India have shared a cordial relationship for centuries. Let both governments resolve the palm oil issue amicably. We from the trade association feel trade between India and Malaysia should go as normal where problems along the way will get resolved.
“No one should press any button which can accelerate the situation,” he added.
Ramesh said Malaysia should explore ways at balancing trade with India, namely by importing various other goods from the republic.
India, the world’s largest vegetable oil importer, relies on Indonesia and Malaysia for its palm oil supply. Malaysia exported palm oil worth US$1.65 billion (RM6.9 billion) to India in 2018. — Bernama