Palm oil sector needs to highlight ‘future’ strategies to conquer Middle East markets

Since as early as 2021 and especially after the European Union approved its Green Deal policy, the palm oil sector has switched its focus to expanding its export markets. Malaysia in particular has made no secret about its aims to conquer the Middle Eastern region as a major new export market, and has been rigorously stressing the health benefits of palm oil in order to do this.

However, sustainability has risen to become a major policy agenda for many major markets in the region, such as Saudi Arabia with its Vision 2030 which has plans to generate 58.7 Gwatts of renewable energy, and the UAE’s Abu Dhabi Environment Vision 2030 to combat climate change , air pollution, water and waste management and more.

Given the importance of this as well as its integration into far-reaching policies, the palm oil sector will need to not only assure local industry leaders of its sustainability credentials, but also satisfy ‘future-oriented’ demands in order to fully capture the regional market as a long-term export destination.

“The first thing is that these palm oil sustainability policies must be made clear and transparent to the public, whether they are by Malaysia or Indonesia or other palm oil producing nations,”Professor Ibrahim Ozdemir, Dean at Turkey’s Uskudar University, told a global audience at the recently-concluded Dubai Expo 2020.

“If the sector truly wants to reach new markets such as the Middle East and even North Africa, it is crucial to make it clear that these sustainable palm oil policies are not only human-friendly and eco-friendly, but also future-oriented [in their design].

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