The Palm Oil Multinationals from Malaysia

MD Nor Dato` Anuar

The economic contribution of the palm oil multinationals to Malaysia is significant. They generate US$30 billion in export revenue and provide employment to rural population throughout Malaysia. The palm oil products they produce are exported to many countries, and these palm products are used in an extensive variety of food products we consume daily. New R&D efforts continue to discover new applications, as food ingredients, industrial products and oleochemicals. The rapid expansion of the palm oil multinationals has attracted numerous controversies due to environmental concerns. They are blamed for felling large, virgin forests to plant oil palms, resulting in de-forestation and displacement of endangered animals such as orang utan and rare monkeys. As a result, global food companies are requiring these palm oil multinationals to adopt sustainable oil palm plantation. The palm oil multinationals are recognizing these concerns. The increasing world population is expected to continue driving the demand for palm oil as a competitive source of oil and fat. The palm oil multinationals will be forced to seek new areas and countries to plant more oil palm.