BANGKOK (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry is expected to receive approval to export fresh whole Musang King - popularly known as Mao Shan Wang - durian to China next year.
Its deputy secretary-general Datuk Mohd Salehhuddin Hassan said negotiations with the Chinese government on Mao Shan Wang export to the country was positive.
"Negotiations with the Chinese government proceeded positively," he said told news agency Bernama during a Durian Fiesta at the Malaysian embassy in Bangkok.
"We have met their enquiries in terms of fruit safety and security.
"We hope to obtain approval next year but it depends on the negotiations."
The event was held in conjunction with the acquiring of export approval for fresh Malaysian Mao Shan Wang into the Thai market.
According to Salehhuddin, fresh Mao Shan Wang currently cannot be exported to China as a whole fruit but is allowed in pulp, frozen and chilled form.
The demand for Mao Shan Wang is extremely high in China - the king of fruit costs more than RM300 (S$101) per kg there.
"After several major promotions in China, the residents there now know the real taste of Musang King and they are actually waiting for the fruit to enter their market," said Salehhuddin.
Durian aficionados in China are willing to spend on savouring Mao Shan Wang from Malaysia.
The high demand in China has also resulted in unscrupulous fruit traders there to label Thai durians as Musang King.
Salehuddin said the Chinese market was important to ensure the increasing number of durian producers in Malaysia have a market for their fruits.
At the moment, private entrepreneurs are investing in hundreds of acres of Mao Shan Wang durian trees.