The Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities (MPIC) said various efforts have been made to pave the way to export palm oil to new markets such as China's hinterlands, Central Asian countries, Balkan states, Eastern Europe, Caribbean islands and African countries.
The MPIC said this in a written reply to a question from Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim (GPS-Batang Lupar).
"During a visit to Ethiopia, one Malaysian company was offered a tender to export 27,000 tonnes of oil palm to the country," it said.
Aside from promoting the nation's palm oil, the visits had also strengthened bilateral relations with the respective countries via existing bilateral cooperation frameworks to ease the acceptance of Malaysian palm oil in terms of getting the best export terms for the product.
"The MPIC has also expanded efforts and initiatives with regards to the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil certification, as well as ongoing forest and biodiversity conservation measures.
"We have also lobbied palm oil-importing countries with regards to the positive aspects on the use of palm oil in nutritional and non-nutritional applications," it said.
The visits had also mitigated anti-palm oil campaigns which had more or less affected the nation's palm oil trade.
"Engagement sessions and presentation of the country's way forward, which is in line with Sustainable Development Goals, have restored the nation's palm oil image globally," the ministry said.
MPIC added that the efforts resulted in an increase in exports in 2019, where it rose by 10.8 per cent to 27.98 million tonnes from 25.23 million tonnes in 2018.
"Exports of palm oil and palm oil-based products to India increased by 67 per cent from 2.67 million tonnes in 2018 to 4.46 million tonnes in 2019, while exports to European Union countries rose by 2.3 per cent to 3.89 million tonnes in 2019 compared to the previous year," it said.