Luckily for Malaysian durian growers, better trade, business and logistics networks develop across the region and beyond to cater to pent-up, post-pandemic demand. Chinese authorities rolled out measures in May 2019 to expand the import of Malaysian durians, aimed at boosting the 300,000 metric tons of durians China takes in every year, mostly from Thailand.
The move fueled the import of whole durian fruits from Malaysia, which already saw its total durian production rise to 341,000 tons in 2018 from 211,000 tons in 2017. The improved links to the Chinese market were set to contribute nearly 500 million ringgit ($121 million) to Malaysia's total export value annually, according to Malaysian authorities in 2019.
In South China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region alone, the China-Malaysia Qinzhou Industrial Park, which is within the Qinzhou Port Area of the China (Guangxi) Pilot Free Trade Zone, one of six such zones approved by the State Council in August 2019, is poised to tap growing regional trade and business links for improved access to products and services. The zone covers customs, as well as quality, safety and health inspection facilities to help ensure that food imports meet strict standards for domestic consumption.
According to epaper.chinadaily.com.cn, trade in specialty commodities between China and Malaysia is enjoying positive growth. Last year's imports of shelled durians totaled more than 660 tons valued at nearly 33 million yuan ($5.06 million), helping drive Malaysia's total durian imports to over 1,032 tons.