The West Asia consists of 17 countries surrounding the Arab Peninsula and can be grouped into Arab and non-Arab states. Arab countries can be divided into Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and non-GCC countries. The rich and more developed GCC countries consist of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The slightly poorer and less developed non-GCC countries consist of Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria and Yemen. Non-Arab countries consist of Afghanistan, Cyprus, Israel, Iran and Turkey. The Central Asia region consists of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. All these countries were former members of the Soviet Union. Hence, Russian influence remains dominant among these countries and most of them have bilateral agreements with Russia. Central Asia has been considered as a new market for Malaysian palm oil compared to the more developed and matured markets such as the West Asia. Although palm oil imports from Central Asia is relatively low compared to the West Asia it has the potential of increasing in the future.
Keywords: MARKET POTENTIAL, PALM OIL, PALM PRODUCTS, CENTRAL ASIA, WEST ASIA
* Malaysian Palm Oil Board,
No. G-30/6, See Breeze Villas Block-8,
Kehkashan Clifton, Pakistan.