February 13, 2023
JAKARTA – Indonesia and Malaysia have agreed to step up efforts to fight discrimination against palm oil and protect the industry by sending a mission to the European Union, which has issued a new policy to block the sale of palm oil.
At a meeting in Jakarta on Thursday between Coordinating Economic Affairs Minister Airlangga Hartarto and Malaysia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Plantations Minister Fadillah Yusof, the two countries agreed to send a joint mission to present scientific facts, economic benefits and industry best practices.
“We have agreed to protect the palm oil sector by strengthening [our] efforts and cooperation to deal with this discrimination. With regard to this unilateral move that could impact the palm oil industry, our meeting agreed to hold a policy dialog with major importing countries,” Airlangga told a press conference afterward.
Fadillah, meanwhile, said Malaysia and Indonesia were in agreement on protecting the environment, including by practicing sustainable logging when clearing land for plantations.
“We always strive to comply with regulations on the palm oil industry, but they must be fair and understand the situation in both countries, where we try to help smallholders come out of poverty,” he said, as quoted by Malaysian state news agency Bernama.
Last month, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and visiting Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim agreed to stronger collaboration to develop the palm oil market and combat discrimination against the commodity.
“We have agreed to strengthen [our] cooperation through the Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries [CPOPC] to increase the market for palm oil and to fight discrimination against palm oil,” Jokowi said during a joint press briefing after the bilateral talks.