Chinese investors turn to the king of fruits

durianPETALING JAYA: If reports are to be believed, land and development aren’t the only things Chinese investors are interested in.

They’re also turning their gaze on arguably the most Malaysian asset of all: the durian.

Just three weeks after Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Ahmad Shabery Cheek spoke of efforts to export durians to China, reports say that investors there are looking to acquire orchards of their own in Malaysia.

According to China Press, these investors are eager to handle every aspect of the business, from planting to harvesting and exporting.

The report, quoted by The Star, said some Chinese investors had partnered with locals and now owned 121ha of durian orchards in Malaysia.

However, local farmers and traders are reportedly uneasy about the trend as it could make the market more competitive and drive up durian prices in Malaysia.

Previously, national news agency Bernama said one “musang king” durian was being sold for about RM800 in Hong Kong while one kilogramme of the fruit could fetch RM200 in China.

Shabery, in his announcement of the efforts to export durians to China, had joked that Malaysia-China relations could be referred to as “durian diplomacy”.