KARACHI (APP) - Malaysia is expected to increase its rice import from Pakistan four times this year. This was disclosed by the Commercial Counselor for Pakistan High Commission Wijiuallah Kundi in Kuala Lumpur. He said that Malaysian Padiberas National Berhad (BERNAS) and its group of companies which are involved in the procurement and processing of paddy, as well as import, warehousing, distribution and marketing of rice in Malaysia have been actively engaging Pakistan to bring about four fold increase in import of Pakistani rice with the objective to diversify its import base of rice and to minimize its dependence on rice import from Thailand and Vietnam. The Malaysian import of rice from Thailand and Vietnam make up 45.91pc and 34.5pc, respectively. Currently Pakistan is the third biggest exporter of rice to Malaysia, but it makes up only 4.1pc of the total rice import which now have been projected to increase four fold in the year 2010. The Commercial Counselor said that during the visit of the Minister of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry of Malaysia from 14th to 17th Dec, 2009 to Pakistan, the Malaysian importers secured many contracts for Pakistani companies for rice import, the trend will continue the year 2010 leading to substantial increase. The rice varieties of Pakistan which are priced world over and by Malaysia consumers due to their excellent taste, enchanting flavor and healthy nutritious value includes various varieties of Basmati rice including Super, Shaheen and Kernal, Basmati and other varieties includes NIAB, IRRI-9 and IRRI 6, Broken rice, Rice in the husk, paddy Husked or brown rice both Semi-milled or wholly milled. In the year 2008, total rice export to Malaysia was valued at RM 110.97 million. However this sector did not perform well in the same year and registered a decline in its share of export to Malaysia of Pakistan goods from 32pc to 14pc whereas import of rice during first ten month of 2009 was recorded at RM. 57.523 registering a decline of 46.25pc from import of 107pc in first ten months of year 2008. This declining trend is being harnessed and in 2010 is expected to register substantial increase of four fold.