TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad agreed on fighting the European Union’s discriminatory measures against the two countries' palm oil. The agreement produced in a bilateral meeting in Putrajaya, Malaysia, on August 9.
"The two leaders have a strong commitment to continuing the fight against palm oil discrimination," Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno L. P. Marsudi was quoted as saying by the Presidential Secretariat's Press and Media Bureau in a statement in Jakarta on Saturday, August 10.
Indonesia and Malaysia remain highly committed to sustainable palm oil management and processing. Minister Retno pointed out that Indonesia has palm oil certification and scientific data for comparison.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the EU have agreed to set up a working group on palm oil.
Indonesia believed that a common perception of the working group is vital to yield fruitful results in line with the expectations of the two parties.
"Hence, our approach is an open one. Let us cooperate, but if we face constant discrimination, then Indonesia and Malaysia will certainly not keep silent. We will fight," she stated.
In the meantime, the Indonesian Palm Oil Association (Gapki) said that a decline in Indonesia's palm oil exports was pressured by unfavorable regulations in some export destination countries.
The exports of Indonesian palm oil, including crude palm oil (CPO) and its derivatives in April had declined 18 percent to 2.44 million tons as compared to the total exports of 2.96 million tons in March, according to the association's data released in July 2019.