Re Opening MEUFTA

Malaysia and the EU recently signed the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA), concluding negotiations that have been ongoing since 2010. The EU and Malaysia also recently announced that they would re-start negotiations on a bilateral trade deal.

The announcement comes after a number of false starts. The talks originally commenced in 2010; they were called off in 2012, and then there was an announcement in 2014 that they would re-start.

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An Unfair Swipe at NCR?

Noted Dutch conservationist Erik Meijaard recently weighed in on the debate around the reform of Indonesian forest laws.

The debate revolves around the handing millions of hectares of Indonesian forest back to indigenous communities.

Indonesian land laws previously stated that forests belong to the state. However, a 2013 Constitutional Court decision declared that certain aspects of Indonesia’s forest law violated the constitution, particularly in relation to indigenous rights.

The Indonesian … Read More

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How the French Palm Oil Tax Could Hurt French Trade

The French palm oil tax, as passed by the National Assembly in March, is a discriminatory proposal, that would harm the relations between France, and Malaysia.

Palm oil is a major commodity export for Malaysia, and for Indonesia, whether in the form of crude palm oil itself (CPO), oleochemicals or other products. The tax proposed by France is a serious and unfriendly act that could have negative consequences for jobs … Read More

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French Palm Oil Tax Falls Foul of WTO

France recently introduced a tax specifically directed at palm oil. The new law proposes a tax that will hit palm oil that doesn’t meet ‘sustainability criteria’. There would be an initial tax of EUR90 per tonne on ‘unsustainable’ palm oil. ‘Sustainable’ palm oil would be exempt.

Palm oil producers have for the most part expressed opposition to the tax. Governments – particularly Indonesia’s – have been vocal, pointing out that … Read More

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Human Faces: Malaysian Small Farmers Reject Proposed French Tax

French MPs voted last week on an additional tax on palm oil. This tax will harm the lives and livelihoods of over 300,000 small farmers in Malaysia for whom oil palm cultivation is an essential lifeline.

Dato’ Haji Aliasak Haji Ambia, President of the National Association of Smallholders Malaysia (NASH) said:

“This tax is unfair, unjustified and discriminatory towards millions of small farmers worldwide. In Malaysia, today, more than one

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Malaysian Palm Oil Council Condemns Today’s Vote on French Palm Oil Tax

National Assembly Proposal Has No Intellectual or Economic Credibility

Kuala Lumpur – The Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) today condemns the vote in the French National Assembly that imposes a discriminatory tax on palm oil produced in the developing world. The tax has been passed in a vote of MPs in the National Assembly, despite having no economic or environmental credibility.

The tax was passed as part of the Biodiversity … Read More

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Growing Opposition to Discriminatory Palm Oil Tax

Opposition is growing to the proposed palm oil tax from within the French Parliament, in the French media, and by leading French economic and industry experts.

Food Navigator reports on the economic analysis commissioned by the Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC), which demonstrated that no economic basis existed for the proposed palm oil tax. The CEO of MPOC, Dr Yusof Basiron, was quoted in the article describing the proposed tax … Read More

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Malaysian Palm Oil Council: Proposed French Palm Oil Tax Discriminatory

Kuala Lumpur – The Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC), today, condemns efforts by the governing party of France, the Socialists, to impose a discriminatory tax on palm oil produced in the developing world. A new report (The Economic Facts About Palm Oil Taxation in France) commissioned by MPOC finds no economic rationale for the new tax, and in fact, finds it to be disproportionate and discriminatory.

The French … Read More

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Global Forest Watch’s Rubbery Plantation Numbers

Global Forest Watch recently issued a study and a blogpost on forest loss and plantations that was nothing less than surprising and at times bizarre. 

The study itself and its objectives seemed reasonably clear. The authors note that there is a lack of data on the location and extent of plantation areas within locales that are considered forest area, particularly because maps and imaging technology are generally unable to distinguish Read More

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Why are NGOs Shooting Down the UN FAO?

The recent FAO data that effectively said Malaysia’s deforestation rates had fallen to zero has ruffled feathers among campaigners.

Friends of the Orang Utans director Upreshpal Singh is content to ‘shoot the messenger’ when it comes to the new forest data, which was recently published in a piece that appeared in The Star.

The FAO goes through an extensive process of harmonization and cross-checking for its forest assessments. It … Read More

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