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Malaysia to buy wheat products from Turkey

BERNAMA – Malaysia will buy wheat and wheat-related products from Turkey and also explore reverse investment opportunities related to food products in the republic.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said several Malaysian companies had been identified to buy wheat and open wheat farms in the country, among which is Boustead Holdings.

“I have proposed that Turkey allows Malaysian companies to make reverse investments in the food sector, especially wheat and bring back the products. President Erdogan has no objection to this proposal,” he said during a news conference with Malaysian journalists at the end of his four-day official visit to Turkey at the invitation of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

On Tuesday in Istanbul, Boustead signed a memorandum of understanding with OYAK, Turkey’s first and largest retirement fund involved in key sectors including mining and metallurgy, concrete cement, paper, automotive, logistics, finance, chemicals, food, agriculture, energy as well as services.

Ismail Sabri said in his meeting with Erdogan at the Presidential Complex on Thursday, that among the key issues discussed was food security, and the two leaders agreed that Malaysia and Turkey should increase cooperation to ensure adequate and stable food supply chains in both countries.

Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob speaks during a news conference. PHOTO: BERNAMA

Turkey’s annual wheat production reaches nearly 20 million tonnes and the republic is a net exporter of the commodity. One-third of the world’s wheat production is from Ukraine and Russia. However, the war between the two countries in addition to India’s decision to reduce wheat exports has put great pressure on the food supply.

In 2020, Malaysia imported wheat worth MYR1.46 billion and became the world’s 38th largest importer of the commodity and the foodstuff is also the 109th most imported product by the country.

The Prime Minister also said he thanked Turkey for buying palm oil from Malaysia and being the third-largest importer after India and China.

At a meeting between the two leaders, which was also attended by several Cabinet ministers, they also discussed the potential for Turkey to increase Malaysian palm oil imports and make it a hub for the manufacture of palm oil products for the European and Central Asian markets.

During the visit, Ismail Sabri was accompanied by Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah; Senior Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali; Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba; Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Special Functions) Datuk Dr Abdul Latiff Ahmad; Air Force Chief General Tan Sri Mohd Asghar Khan Goriman Khan; and Army Chief General Tan Sri Zamrose Mohd Zain.

Turkey is Malaysia’s third-largest trading partner in the Middle East after Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates with trade between the two countries totalling MYR16.97 billion in 2021, and projects implemented worth MYR444.59 million.