Opportunities for Malaysian Palm Oil in Southeast Europe: Focus on Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina
65
VIEWS
by Azriyah Azian
Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina are the countries on the Balkan Peninsula in the southeast of Europe and the countries were once parts of the former Yugoslavia. Bosnia and Herzegovina is bordered by Serbia, Croatia and Montenegro. A small strip of land lies on the coast of the Adriatic Sea. The country's name is sometimes abbreviated as BiH. Bosnia and Herzegovina's capital city is Sarajevo. The southern region (Herzegovina region) of the country is warmer than the northern part of the country. Bosnia and Herzegovina exhibits typical continental climate, as most of the country is landlocked.

Croatia is bordered by Hungary, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and Slovenia. The country joined the EU on 1 July 2013. While Zagreb is Croatia's capital, it is located inland. Popular spots in Croatia include the Dalmatian Coast (including Dubrovnik) and the Istrian Peninsula.

Looking at the developments of oils and fats in the region, productions of oils and fats are insufficient to meet the domestic demand in these countries thus the shortages are covered by imports. The main edible oil produced and consumed is sunflower oil. Palm oil is one of the most imported oils and is mainly used in the food sector (shortening, cocoa butter substitute and vegetable fats). Hence, the region offers potentials for further expansion of oils and fats consumption as the economies in these countries develop.

This paper gives an overview on Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina’s oilseeds and oils and fats markets and how palm oil is gaining its importance in fulfilling the domestic requirements. This paper also discusses the challenges and opportunities of marketing palm oil in the Balkan region and provides some of the major players in the domestic oils and fats scene. Conclusions and strategic recommendations are also offered for the Malaysian palm oil industry to expand its presence in this region.

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