Durian economy is important for Malaysia 

Bayan Baru MP Sim Tze Tzin said it is of utmost importance for Malaysia to develop its durian economy.

“We must develop durian economy. Durian economy means using durian to develop comprehensive products.

“Durian economy is huge, it can create huge employment opportunities and quality jobs such as agronomists, Researchers and Plantation managers (like the palm oil industry),” he said via X account. 

“We must also develop durian tourism. To attract visitors from China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, and Indonesia to enjoy durians in our pristine durian orchards,” the PKR federal lawmaker said. 

He said it can also create business opportunities. 

“From the upstream, we must develop more quality varieties besides Musang King and Blackthorn. On the downstream, we must develop more creative durian value-added products besides durian ice cream and biscuits.

“Many more downstream products can be created using durians. Young people can venture into this huge opportunity to start-up businesses,” he said. 

He said that in 2022, Malaysia exported RM887 million to China. 

“It was just a small fraction of the USD $6.7 billion dollar market. With fresh durian access by Q4 2024, durian exports is expected to break the RM1 billion mark in 2024,” he said. 

He added that Malaysia’s durian industry must take advantage of this historic opportunity.

“Durian is arguably the best agriculture crop after our successful oil palm and rubber.

“For the past 40 years, durian planters were smallholders, surviving with ups and downs of low prices… Until 2008.

He said that the year 2008 marked a significant milestone for the durian industry, as Malaysia successfully gained access to China’s frozen durian market.

“I remember the late YB Salahuddin Ayub and I witnessed the first frozen durian container shipment to China. It was one of my proudest moments as Deputy Minister for Agriculture,” he said. 

He said the durian economy is just the beginning. 

“Don’t just makan durian, try to profit from it too,” he said. 

After signing the “Protocol on Phytosanitary Requirements for the Export of Fresh Durian from Malaysia” with China, Malaysia is set to begin exporting durians to China starting in August.

On June 19, a total of 14 memoranda of understanding and cooperation agreements were signed between Malaysia and China, which allow, among other things, the export of fresh Malaysian fruits to China.