Indonesia, Malaysia Agree to Fight Discrimination Against Palm Oil
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo called for Malaysia to enhance collaboration to fight what he called "discrimination" against their countries' palm oil products following the new European Union law that threatens commodity exports.
This year, the EU bloc passed a law banning imports of commodities linked to deforestation. This is expected to hurt the two countries’ palm oil industry.
Indonesia and Malaysia are the world's two largest producers and exporters of palm oil, a commodity used in everything from lipstick to pizza.
"We need to strengthen this collaboration. We don't want commodities produced by Malaysia and Indonesia to be discriminated against in other countries," Jokowi said in a press conference in Kuala Lumpur after meeting Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim on Thursday, June 8, 2023.
In a joint statement, the two leaders pledged to cooperate closely to address the EU's "highly detrimental discriminatory measures against palm oil". They emphasized that the EU needs to promptly work towards a fair and equitable resolution.
Indonesia and Malaysia, which together account for about 85% of global palm oil exports, sent a joint mission to Brussels last week with top government officials from both countries meeting with EU leaders to discuss the deforestation law.
Malaysia calls the law "unjust" and has said that it is working with Indonesia to consider an appropriate response to the law.
Jokowi also said both countries have agreed to establish a framework for protecting migrant workers' rights.
YUDONO YANUAR | REUTERS
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