KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 25 — Egypt is working seriously on becoming the re-export hub for Malaysian palm oil in Africa as well as neighbouring Arab countries, said its Ambassador to Malaysia Ragai Tawfik Said Nasr.
As the North African country assumed the presidency of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) this year, which comprises 21 member states, he said it is timely for Egypt and Malaysia to accelerate the plan.
“There are a lot of incentives under Comesa, so Malaysian palm oil can be exported from Egypt using these incentives to the African countries.
“We are working on having the factory or storage facility of palm oil in Egypt in the near future,” he said after his meeting with Bernama’s Editor-in-Chief Khairdzir Md Yunus at the Malaysian National News Agency’s headquarters, here, Monday.
Said Nasr pointed out that the matter was also discussed during the visit of former Malaysian Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein to Egypt in June last year.
On bilateral trade between both countries this year, he said the total value is expected to exceed the US$1 billion (RM4.19 billion) mark recorded in 2021, which was an increase of 85 per cent from the previous year.
“This is significant although there is Covid-19. It means that there is a significant breakthrough and will from both sides to increase the trade as we have a lot of opportunities to be explored.
“We have in mind to have a business delegation from Malaysia coming to visit Egypt and it will be a good chance for them to know more about what we have and vice versa,” he said.
On the political front, Said Nasr noted that Malaysia and Egypt have enjoyed fruitful relations since the establishment of bilateral ties in 1957.
He pointed out that the foreign ministry of the two countries will convene their inaugural Bilateral Consultation in Cairo on Jan 30.
“It is a very good start and a very good breakthrough. Later, we hope there will be exchange of high level visits,” he said, adding that the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Dr Ahmed El-Tayeb is also keen on visiting Malaysia.
“I had a meeting with the Grand Imam before coming here and he praised very much the Malaysian students in Egypt. We are going to arrange for the visit when it is appropriate for him to come,” said Said Nasr. — Bernama