Malaysia, Indonesia Team Up To Protect Palm Oil Industry

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By Mohd Shukri Ishak
JAKARTA, Aug 10 (Bernama) -- Malaysia and Indonesia Friday reiterated their commitment to work together to promote oil palm products and counter attacks against the palm oil industry by Europe.

International Trade and Industry Minister Darell Leiking and Indonesian Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita, in a joint media conference, said resolving the issue would be a priority for both ministries.

"The two countries will, among others, enhance the role of the Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries to promote oil palm products," said Darell, who is on a three-day working visit to Indonesia starting Friday.

In January this year, the European Parliament voted to phase out biodiesel made from palm oil by 2021.

Darell said his visit was a continuation of Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s two-day official visit to Jakarta in June to further enhance cooperation between the two countries.

Enggartiasto, meanwhile, noted that Malaysia and Indonesia produced 80 per cent of the world’s palm oil and both countries were the two largest producers.

"We will work together to counter the attacks and are committed to jointly promoting palm oil products," he added.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry said in a statement that Indonesia was Malaysia’s seventh largest trading partner globally and third largest within ASEAN. Bilateral trade almost doubled from US$9.02 billion (US$1=RM4.08) in 2006 to US$16.89 billion last year.

"Over the past decade, Malaysian investments were in key sectors such as banking, plantations, construction, toll-road, energy as well as telecommunications.

"It is our hope that the working visit will translate into greater economic success for both nations," the ministry added.