KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia said on Sunday (Apr 2) it has signed a memorandum of understanding with a China government-backed trade association to enhance palm oil trade and cooperation.
The Malaysian Palm Oil Board said its partnership with the China Chamber of Commerce of Import and Export of Foodstuffs, Native Produce and Animal By-Products will help Malaysia regain market share in the world's most populous country.
Malaysia, the world's second-largest palm producer, and China, the world's second-largest buyer, will jointly promote the use of Malaysia's sustainable palm oil in China, as well as the design and implementation of new technologies such as artificial intelligence in oil palm plantations.
"China wishes to work with Malaysia in order to secure the palm oil supply to the country," the Malaysian board said in a statement. The memorandum "will help gain China’s confidence towards Malaysian palm oil".
The agreement "shall facilitate China's participation on the technology exploration in the oil palm mechanisation in Malaysia, which will help to increase productivity and reduce reliance on human labour in the plantation," it said.
In 2022, Malaysia exported 3.14 million tonnes of palm oil and palm products to China, making China its most important trading partner for the edible oil after India.