Iran and Malaysia are seeking to increase the level of trade in agricultural products, despite sanctions, said the Malaysian minister of plantation industries and commodities.
In an exclusive interview with Iran Daily on the sidelines of the seminar, “The role of Malaysian palm oil in supplying the oils needed by Iran,” which was held in Tehran on Tuesday, Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin added that during the talks we had with traders and officials from the Iranian ministries of foreign affairs and agriculture, increasing the level of trade in the field of agricultural products was on the agenda.
She said, “In the field of developing trade cooperation, there is a mutual understanding between the two sides and, based on this, we try to expand cooperation between the two countries.”
“Iran and Malaysia have a long history in trade and industrial cooperation, but this cooperation requires organization of structures and planning,” the minister noted.
She called the sanctions against Iran as one of the obstacles to the development of trade between the two countries and said, “Despite the sanctions against Iran, efforts are being made to put the industrial and trade cooperation between the two countries on the right track.”
“Studying the ways to transfer money during the sanctions and facilitating trade were among the issues that were discussed during my visit to Iran,” said Kamaruddin, adding that, in this regard, a joint committee was formed to review financial transfer strategies.
She said, “Iran and Malaysia follow the use of other ways for financial transfers, including barter-based systems, which will be used in the future.”
The minister added, “A list of food and agricultural products including dairy products, meat products, as well as potatoes, grapes, apples, kiwis and wheat has been prepared by Iran for barter exchanges.”
Welcoming Iran’s nuclear talks with the P4+1, she said, “If the negotiations between Iran and the Western countries are concluded and the sanctions on Iran are lifted, there will be no more problems in the field of trade between the two countries.”
Referring to the seminar, “The role of Malaysian palm oil in supplying the oils needed by Iran,” the minister said, “This seminar was held to increase Malaysia’s share in supplying the oil needed by countries in the region, especially Iran, and to change misunderstandings about the use of palm oil.”
She called the Iranian market a great opportunity for Malaysia, and said Iran is a large market for our products, and Malaysia can expand the palm oil industry by cooperating with this country.
“Malaysia produces 24% of the world’s palm oil, has 34% of the global market share, and is now the second largest exporter of this product in the world,” Kamaruddin said.
She added, “Iran is one of our good markets in the field of palm oil and, based on this, we cooperate with all Iranian food and pharmaceutical organizations to provide the best quality oil and ensure the health of Iranian consumers.”
Malaysia uses modern methods in the processing of palm oil, which has improved the quality of palm oil in Malaysia, and now the palm oil of Malaysia is produced in accordance with the latest international standards, the minister said.
“Contrary to popular belief, well-processed palm oil not only does not cause cancer, but reduces the risk of cancer due to the presence of various antioxidants, and reduces heart attacks,” she noted.
Noting that Malaysia is trying to pursue the export of palm oil and other products to other countries in the region through Iran, she said, “For this purpose, the port of Chabahar is selected for export to countries in the region.”
“We plan to export our palm oil to Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan through Iran,” she concluded.