Iran today said it was ready to become Malaysia’s hub for the distribution of palm oil and palm oil-related products in the lucrative West and Central Asian markets.
“Thanks to its strategic geographical location, Iran has land and sea borders to 15 regional countries in the Middle East as well as West and Central Asia,” said a statement released by the Islamic republic’s embassy in Malaysia.
“Meanwhile, Malaysia would be a vital gateway to other Asean countries, which are home to over 650 million people.”
Iran, which is currently the biggest importer of palm oil in the Middle East, said it was poised to buy more of the commodity from Malaysia in a bid to address the growing demand over the next few years.
In the first five months of this year, Iran imported a total of 309,704 metric tonnes of palm oil, a five-fold increase from last year’s 63,039 metric tonnes during the same period.
“To further fuel the industry and re-escalate bilateral trade activities, Iran will continue to increase palm oil imports as the country paves the way into economic recovery from the effects of the pandemic,” the statement added.
Iran and Malaysia saw significant growth from 2016 to 2018 following the 2015 nuclear deal which put an end to the sanctions slapped on Tehran.
Bilateral trade between the two sides rose from RM2.82 billion in 2016 to RM4.52 billion in 2017.