Malaysia, India aim to repair ties

Malaysia and India will work on improving ties that turned sour under former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and badly affected palm oil trade between the countries, Reuters reported on March 1, quoting officials from both nations.

02, Mar. 2020

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NEW DELHI, VNA - Malaysia and India will work on improving ties that turned sour under former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and badly affected palm oil trade between the countries, Reuters reported on March 1, quoting officials from both nations.

India is the world’s biggest palm oil importer but its purchases from Malaysia, the second biggest palm exporter behind Indonesia, dropped drastically in recent months.

However, with new Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin swearing in on March 1 after Mahathir’s resignation last week, Wee Ka Siong, a Malaysian lawmaker, said that mending the bilateral ties is a priority because Malaysian palm oil producers have been suffering because of India’s effective ban on purchases.

He underlined that the new government treasures the friendship with India.

Reuters also quoted an Indian official with knowledge of the matter as saying that India is also keen to improve bilateral ties, including palm oil trading. India could also invite new Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin for a visit this year, he added.

India accounted for nearly a quarter of Malaysia’s total palm oil exports last year and has been the biggest buyer of Malaysian palm oil for five years. India’s curbs on Malaysian imports disrupted global edible oil trade flows, with Indonesia diverting supplies to India, Malaysia rushing to tap markets left behind by Indonesia and India substituting palm with other oils. - VNA