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Efforts to broaden palm oil industry business horizon will not stop: Mohd Shafie

By Sabah News Today

KOTA KINABALU: Lahad Datu POIC reached another milestone on Tuesday with the launch of its Bulking Terminal and being designated as a Tender Port and Delivery Point for CPO as well as Refined Bleached Deodoriced (RBD) Palm Olien Futures.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Adpal said the designation of Lahad Datu POIC as Asia Pacific Exchange Pte Ltd (APEX) Third Tender Port for CPO and RBD Palm Olien Futures Contract in Malaysia is timely and encouraging.

Mohd Shafie (fourth from right) and other dignitaries doing the launch gimmick yesterday. SNT Pix/Credit CMD

He said the status not only means a recognition of additional port and bulking facilities in Lahad Datu, but also directly benefitting palm oil sellers and buyers, as well as putting the east coast town’s profile into the global edible oil map.

APEX is a Singapore-based commodities exchange.

It will trade in CPO and RBD Palm Olien Futures delivered through the storage facilities at the Lahad Datu POIC.

Mohd Shafie said one of the immediate benefits to Sabah would be in the reduction of the so-called ‘Sabah discount’ on Sabah CPO by APEX from US$20-US$30 to US$10.

He said the new development on Lahad Datu POIC was specifically an important part of Sabah government’s continuing efforts to strengthen and broaden the business horizon of the palm oil industry in the state.

It was also an acknowledgment of Sabah’s vital role in the national palm oil industry, as well as a clear recognition of the global reach of the palm oil industry as a whole, he added.

Speaking at the three-in-one event at Shangri-la’s Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa near here, he said Sabah needed to strengthen its position in the palm oil industry by competing on the basis of governance and good agriculture practices to remain competitive.

He said a vibrant and progressive palm oil industry was essential for Sabah and its people as it geared towards a high-income economy, hence, local industry players need to be creative, innovative and better than others to maintain its positions both nationally and globally.

“The palm oil industry is a key economic sector for Sabah, as for many years we have the distinction of being the largest crude palm oil (CPO) producer in Malaysia. Its also a key source Sabah’s revenue and important source of livelihood for our smallholders.

“The challenges for the local palm oil industry are many and varied, and there are no easy solutions, but as a government, we will continue to strive to put in a place a facilitative environment for the industry to thrive and move forward,” he said.

Mohd Shafie also predicted a wider role for Sabah in the palm oil sector due to its proximity to China and India, Malaysia’s two palm oil importing countries.

Apart from the launching the Lahad Datu POIC Bulking Terminal and its designation as the Apex’s third tender port, a service agreement between Sabah POIC chief executive officer (CEO) Datuk Dr Pang Teck Wei and APEX founder cum CEO Eugene Zhu was also signed that was witnessed by Mohd Shafie.

Also on hand was Deputy Chief Minister cum Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau.-SabahNewsToday