The Myanmar Times
Friday, 18 April 2014
The Myanmar Times
The Myanmar Times

Malaysia eyes rubber, oil plantations in Myanmar

Malaysia’s Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities Mr Tan Sri Bernard Dompok speaks during a press conference in Yangon Thursday, November 1, 2012.  (Thiri Lu / The Myanmar Times)Malaysia’s Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities Mr Tan Sri Bernard Dompok speaks during a press conference in Yangon Thursday, November 1, 2012.  (Thiri Lu / The Myanmar Times)

Malaysia is eyeing Myanmar as a possible site for a palm oil and rubber plantations and a refinery, a senior Malaysian government minister said last week.

Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities Mr Tan Sri Bernard Dompok said Malaysian companies were keen to pursue opportunities in Myanmar.

Speaking at a press conference on November 1, the minister said: “Malaysia and Myanmar trade in three main sectors: palm oil, rubber and timber. We see how we can maximise long-standing business relationships between our two countries.”

“We might discuss this with the president and the agriculture ministry during my trip to Myanmar. Malaysia has long experience in the plantation sector, and can share that experience,” he said.

“The plantation would be set up as a joint venture, and the choice of partners would depend on decisions yet to be taken by businesspeople on both sides,” he added.

Myanmar’s climate was similar to that of Malaysia, he said.

“We have the idea to establish a rubber plantation in the southern part of Myanmar. We will set up the refinery industry near the port,” he said.

“We cannot say how much tonnes of palm oil will be produced and how many hectares of plantation will be here. I hope to provide more details in my next visit,” he added.

The director of the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE), Mr Zulkeplimohd Perai, said Malaysian businesspeople were interested in palm oil industries in Myanmar. The oil would be exported to China and India, where demand is high.

But they are awaiting the final passage of the amended foreign investment law.

The delegation led by the minister visited the president on October 31 in Nay Pyi Taw and discussed promoting trade and investment between the two countries, as well as cooperation in the production of palm oil, rubber and forestry products.