Speakers at the Pakistan Edible Oil Conference (PEOC) highlighted Pakistani markets’ potential for exporting value-added products of palm oil to the neighbouring landlocked countries, including central Asian states and Afghanistan.
The conference was organised by Pakistan Vanaspati Manufacturers Association (PVMA) in collaboration with All-Pakistan Solvent Extractors Association (APSEA) and Pakistan Edible Oil Refinery Association (PEORA) at local hotel on Sunday.
Speaking at the inaugural session of the conference, chief guest Federal Minister for Science and Technology Rana Tanveer Hussain said Pakistan has excellent logistics for import of edible oils with two sea ports in Karachi.
“Gawadar port which would be our third sea port is progressing well and would be a future destination for importing oils”, he said.
He said that the government was making all-out efforts to increase the local cultivation of oilseeds to meet the country’s total edible oils annual requirement which is around 3.5 million tons. “Our indigenous production is very low due to which Pakistan has to remain dependent on the import of edible oils and oilseeds,” he added.
“Our priority crops are cotton, wheat, rice and sugarcane. Government increase support price to encourage our farmers to grow more cottonseed, rapeseed and sunflower seed locally,” he said and hoped that local production of oilseed would also increase in the country.
He said that geographically, Pakistan is ideally located for third country trade and to those countries which are landlocked. He asked the oil associations to suggest ways and means to supply end products like ghee, cooking oil to landlocked countries which would provide additional markets for exporting our end products.
At the outset, the minister felicitated the organisers for taking initiative in organising the moot. PEORA chairman Rasheed Janmohammad said that Pakistan could earn foreign exchange by making joint ventures with multinational companies in oil refineries, solvent extracts and value-added products.
He urged the government to reduce the duty on export of crude oil so that value-added products could be exported to landlocked countries on compatible prices. He said that government should facilitate the oil importers and a fair mechanism should be evolved for the purpose.
Malaysian Palm Oil Board’s (MPOB) regional manager Mohammad Fairus Bin Mohammad Hidzer said Pakistan has potential market for high value products. He said production of palm oil is increasing in Malaysia and the country is exporting natural products to Pakistan.
Consul General of Indonesia Hadi Santoso while talking to Business Recorder on the occasion said that Pakistan and Indonesia should sign a free trade agreement (FTA) for increasing bilateral trade.
“Both the countries should form bilateral commissions to identify the products for trading between two countries,” he said, adding palm oil production in Indonesia has been increased manifold. He said that Pakistan could export value-added brands to its neighbouring countries.
Source: Business Recorder