No plans for meeting with Indian officials in Davos – Darrel

KUALA LUMPUR: Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Ignatius Darell Leiking. Photo courtesy of BERNAMA.

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 20 (NNN-BERNAMA) — There is no plan for a formal meeting between Malaysian and Indian officials to discuss issues regarding palm oil during the World Economic Forum’s summit in Davos, Switzerland next week, says Datuk Darell Leiking.

However, the International Trade and Industry Minister did not discount the possibility of an encounter with officials from India during the event which may lead up to a discussion on matters concerning bilateral interests. 

There are no plans for any particular meeting but along the way, if “we (officials) bump into each other and I’m sure Hello always starts with something good,” he told reporters when met at the signing ceremony of a memorandum of agreement between InvestKL China Special Channel and Chinese Business Chamber today.

He was asked to comment on whether a meeting had been scheduled between him and his Indian counterpart, Piyush Goyal in Davos as reported in the foreign media. 

The foreign media report said that Goyal would not be meeting Leiking due to his “tight schedule.” 

While there had been talks that the Indian government had put restrictions on refined palm oil imports from Malaysia to protect the interest of domestic refiners, nothing official has been stated yet on this.

Malaysia’s Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok also has dismissed reports that India had called for a restriction on Malaysian palm oil.

India relies on imports for 70 per cent of its edible oil requirements, and palm oil from Indonesia and Malaysia constitute almost two-thirds of the country’s annual vegetable oil imports of 15 million tonnes.

The Indian government effective January has reduced import duty on crude palm oil (CPO) to 37.5 per cent from 40 per cent and on refined palm oil to 45 per cent from 50 per cent.