Indonesia Opposes EU's Anti-Deforestation Law, Trade Minister Says
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Indonesia's Trade Minister Zulkifli Hasan stressed that the government opposed the EU's anti-Deforestation Law. "This regulation is potentially harmful to our farmers," said the minister in Food Agri Insight's "Opposing EU's Anti-Deforestation Law" forum at the ministry auditorium on Tuesday, August 1, 2023.
According to Zulkifli, the anti-deforestation law will hamper trade and has the potential to be discriminatory. Indonesia has always been the EU's exporter of oil palm, wood, rubbers, and live cattle. The export value cannot be undermined. "In 2022, Indonesia's export to the EU amounted to almost US$7,000,000 and consisted of nearly 8 million small farmers," he said. "We are aware this will be an uphill battle (to oppose the bill). But we are doing this to protect the state's interest."
Concerning the discrimination potential, the minister said that the bill provided criteria for countries, categorizing them based on risks. Indonesia could be blacklisted if the law categorized it as a high-risk country.
Indonesia has carried out several efforts to oppose the Anti-Deforestation Law, mainly through multilateral forums in the WTO Committees, such as the Committee on Agriculture, Council for Trade in Goods, Committee on Market Access, and Committee on Trade on Environment. "We are actively voicing our concerns regarding the EU policy and asking for clarification on the Anti-Deforestation provision," Minister Zulkifli said. "We also have taken a joint position with other countries' representatives in Brussels."
Additionally, Zulkifli explained that the government will take further measured steps to oppose the bill.
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