Fearing backlash for Kashmir criticism, Malaysia to up Indian imports

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Fearing backlash for Kashmir criticism, Malaysia to up Indian imports

Malaysia may increase imports of buffalo meat and crude sugar from India in order to offset any potentiality of curbs of its exports of palm-oil to the sub-continental giant. Reuters reported that this step from Malaysia comes in the wake of India’s considering of reducing its palm-oil imports following the Muslim-majority country’s statements against the Kashmir shutdown.

In a statement, Teresa Kok, who is the ministerial handling the palm oil sector, said, “These steps will be taken in light of India’s importance as our third-largest export destination in 2018 for palm oil and palm-based products worth 6.84 billion ringgit ($1.63 billion)”.

In spite of this assurance, value of the FCPOc3, the country’s palm-oil futures sank to a fortnightly low on Tuesday, 15th October. Globally, after Indonesia, Malaysia is the world’s second-largest exporter of the commodity.

Palm-oil exports account for about 2.8 per cent of the Malaysian Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Both India and Malaysia have a strong bilateral trade relationship. For the financial year ended 31st March 2019, India’s imports from Malaysia came to nearly $11 billion.

For the same year, India’s exports to Malaysia stood at around $6.4 billion. India is the world’s leading producer of both buffalo meat and crude sugar. The Indian foreign ministry had chastised Malaysia’s government after its prime minister Mahathir Mohamad had called out India’s authoritative call on Kashmir, at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in September.