Malaysia and Indonesia unite against EU’s palm oil regulation

Jakarta – The governments of Malaysia and Indonesia have reached a consensus to present a united stance in response to the European Union’s Deforestation Regulation (EUDR), which they believe adversely affects their roles as producers of crude palm oil (CPO), Antara News reported.

During a meeting at the Presidential Palace, Malaysian Foreign Minister Mohammad bin Hasan said both nations must defend their economic interests collaboratively, questioning the true intent behind the EU’s deforestation measures explicitly aimed at palm oil. He pointed out the shared economic goals of Malaysia and Indonesia, mainly the export of CPO to the European market.

As a result, both countries have decided to adopt a unified approach and express their concerns about the Anti-Deforestation Law, which is perceived as favouring other vegetable oils within the European market. Minister Hasan criticised the law for lacking sincerity and serving to benefit alternative oil products.

Echoing Hasan’s sentiments, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi affirmed the aligned positions of both nations concerning deforestation and the palm oil export market in Europe. She recounted how the two countries had jointly addressed the palm oil issue under the EU Deforestation Regulation at the recent 24th ASEAN-EU Ministerial Meeting in Brussels, Belgium, on February 2.

Furthermore, Musdhalifah Machmud from Indonesia’s Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs expressed hope for postponing the EUDR’s application to smallholders. This desire was shared during the 2nd Ad Hoc Joint Task Force meeting on EUDR, which took place on February 2, 2024, in Putrajaya, Malaysia, highlighting a concerted effort to mitigate the regulation’s impact on smaller agricultural operators. (nsh)

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