China's Uighur community want palm cooking oil

KUALA LUMPUR: CHINA-based Firat International Trade Co Ltd, the main distributor of palm oil in Xinjiang, expects to distribute 100,000kg of Malaysian palm oil-based cooking oil per month in the province.

This translates into monthly sales of around RM10 million.

Firat director Elmurat Eli said the company intends to make Urumqi, the capital city of Xinjiang, as the distribution hub for the central region of China and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries.

"Xinjiang has a Muslim majority population and Malaysia is well known for its halal food, including cooking oil. 

"The Uighur community in my home country China are always active in exploring halal food. After scouring several destinations, we decided to import 100 per cent of Malaysia's palm oil-based cooking oil which is certified halal, affordable and nutritious," he said at a briefing yesterday. 

A Turkic-speaking people of interior Asia, the ethnic Uighurs live, for the most part, in north-western China and are staunch believers of the Quran.

The Xinjiang province has a population of more than 25 million people, of whom 65 per cent are Muslims.

He said Xinjiang will indirectly facilitate re-exports of palm cooking oil to neighbouring countries like Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan through Firat's distribution hub in Urumqi.

"We are thankful to Malaysian Palm Oil Board and Malaysian Palm Oil Council for their technical assistance and Malaysian Intellectual Networking Association for establishing this business tie-up with Al-Kaleej Industries Sdn Bhd," he added.

Elmurat said the first shipment of two container loads of cooking oil, brand-named Melor, to Xinjiang will dock at Tianjin seaport next month, in time for Ramadhan.