SEPANG (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The first chartered flight with shipments of whole Musang King durian fruits is on its way to Henan province in China and more are expected to follow soon.
Malaysia's special envoy to China, Mr Tan Kok Wai, said the nation is aiming to export about 8,000 tonnes of durian annually valued at around 800 million yuan (S$155 million) via chartered flights.
"Less than 1 per cent of the Chinese population have tasted Musang King before and exporting the whole fruits to China will allow us to expand the market even further," he said.
Mr Tan said this after a soft launch to ship the first 20 tonnes of Musang King to the Henan capital, Zhengzhou.
"Many Chinese tourists have expressed their enthusiasm to visit Malaysia after tasting durian as some of them would also like to visit the durian orchards to test fresh durians," he said.
Previously, only durian slices and pastes were exported to China for consumption and flavouring of other foods products such as ice cream.
Last year, Malaysia's total durian export to China was valued at RM9.44 million in 235.62 tonnes.