TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan and the European Union Ambassador to Indonesia Vincent Guerend, meet to discuss several issues on Eid Al-Fitr. Minister Luhut and Ambassador Guerend had also talked about the restrictions for Indonesian palm oil from entering Europe as biofuel material.
One of the discussions took part when Luhut and Guerend visited the house of Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi on Friday, June 15, 2018.
During the open house event, Guerend came to Luhut who was sitting with Social Minister Idrus Marham and Garuda Indonesia Director Pahala Mansury. The two official talked for about two minutes.
Vincent confirmed that his conversation with Luhut was related to the European Union pal oil ban. “Earlier in the morning we had also met to discuss the same issue [at the Bogor Palace] during the open house event,” Vincent said.
Vincent, however, was reluctant to provide details regarding his conversation with Luhut. He simply said that the European Union decision remains the same. Nevertheless, Vincent added that the final decision is still under discussion and will be announced. "I will also make a [press] release," Guerend stated.
Previously, the European Union had planned to apply a ban on the use of palm oil as a source of renewable energy (biofuel) in Europe by 2021. Indonesian palm oil was banned because it is considered to contribute to the deforestation in the country.
Luhut confirmed that there will be a temporary decision from the European Union on June 27, 2018. However, the decision was made based only on discussions between the European Union the European Union Ministerial Council, and another administrative agency. Luhut also expressed his confidence that the European Union will not make a discriminative decision.
"If they discriminate, it would violate the WTO [World Trade Organization] rules," Luhut said.