Minister Prioritizes Crude Palm Oil in Trade Negotiations

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  • Indonesia's Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita. REUTERS/Hoang Dinh Nam/Pool

    Indonesia's Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita. REUTERS/Hoang Dinh Nam/Pool

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita prioritized the crude palm oil (CPO) and its derivative products in the trade negotiations with other countries, including during the Indonesia European Free Trade Association (EFTA) Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IE-CEPA).

    “In every trade negotiations, we prioritize the CPO,” said Enggartiasto before audiences of the 14th Indonesia Palm Oil Conference (IPOC) & 2019 Price Outlook, in Nusa Dua, Bali, on Thursday, Nov 1.

    During the international conference attended by businessmen, academics, observers, and farmers, the minister said the industry of palm oil played an important role for the economy of Indonesia, such as providing employment and combating poverty.

    “From the upstream to downstream, palm oil contributes 13.7 percent of total Indonesian exports worth 168.8 billion US dollar in 2017,” he explained.

    Thus, the minister said the export issue on CPO would be promoted in the trade agreement. “In IEFTA with Switzerland, one of the priorities is palm oil, we agree on that after we have the right number,” Enggartiasto added.

    The minister was reluctant to reveal the target number of CPO and its derivative products export in the trade agreement that was expected to be completed and signed in November 2018.

    IEFTA-CEPA is the trade agreement of Indonesia with four European countries, namely Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland, which is still discussing up to today. The signing of the agreement has been advised to be expedited.

    The minister further reminded producers of national palm oil to concern to the global demand on healthier, safer and eco-friendly product.

    “We have to prove that the palm oil sector can contribute to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” Enggartiasto said.