KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia and Indonesia are committed to challenging the EU Representative Act (EU) to restrict the use of palm oil in biofuels through the World Trade Organization (WTO) Dispute Resolution Body and other appropriate channels.

In fact, the two countries have also examined relations with the EU and its member states, said the Main Industry Ministry (MPI) in a statement in conjunction with the 7th Palm Oil Producers’ State Ministerial Meeting (CPOPC) here today.

“The ministers involved expressed regret over the implementation of the EU Delegation Act on June 10, 2019. It has been enforced despite various efforts already taken by producer countries to disseminate information on sustainable initiatives implemented,” the ministry said.

Additionally, the same meeting recommended the establishment of the CPOPC-EU Working Group on Palm Oil (JWG) which served as a new platform and response to the act.

This step was decided after taking into account the readiness of the CPOPC and EU delegates to hold dialogue more frequently.

“JWG may involve CPOPC member states and other palm oil producing countries such as African palm producers and will raise issues on smallholders as well as efforts to eradicate poverty in response to the Representatives Act,” the ministry said.

The meeting, co-chaired by Teresa Kok Suh Sim, Minister of Industry and Industry and Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Darmin Nasution, also discussed various issues related to the palm oil industry, including international trade policy and market access, business and involvement of smallholders and the United Nations Development Agenda- United Nations 2030 (UNSDG).

Colombian Ambassador to Malaysia, Mauricio Gonzalez Lopez was also present at the meeting as the representative of the observer state.

According to the ministry, the ministers also welcomed the findings of the SDG Strategic Implementation Master Plan study in the Palm Oil Sector by 2030 implemented by CPOPC showing palm oil being a major part of the 17 PBB SDG objectives.

This is based on case studies conducted in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Colombia and Nigeria.

Commenting on the 3-Monochloropropanediol (3-MCPDE) pollution level proposed by the European Commission, the ministers agreed that a maximum level of 2.5 ppm for all vegetable oils should be adopted as the appropriate use safety limit.

The Ministers also agreed that CPOPC should continue to engage with current issues related to the palm oil industry such as supply and demand, productivity, price stability, smallholder welfare and positive image of palm oil along its value chain.

According to the ministry’s statement, all palm oil producing countries are also invited to attend the Second Minister of Oil Palm Oil Ministerial Meeting in Kuala Lumpur on 18 November.

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