ICYMI: Malaysia Government Says EU’s Approach to Palm Oil ‘Very Unfair’

Malaysia’s Primary Industries Minister Ms Teresa Kok has made clear to the EU in a Politico Europe article published this week that any attempt to implement protectionist trade policies that effectively single out Palm Oil, and favour noncompetitive European oilseeds, will not be tolerated by the Malaysian Government.

Any attempt to impose restrictions on Palm Oil biofuels, or to classify Palm Oil as ‘risky’ is a de facto ban, a message Primary Industries Minister Ms Teresa Kok made clear to Politico Europe during an interview.

“Brussels — always wary of international trade sanctions — made clear that the measure will not single out palm oil and that EU crops such as rapeseed will also fall under the new rules. Kok told POLITICO she wasn’t buying it, however, and argued the policy is a thinly veiled attack on palm oil”

 “The whole policy on ILUC is very damaging to our palm oil sector,” Kok said. “We see obstacle after obstacle with palm oil and, of course, as producing countries, we think this is a kind of discrimination against our commodity — and it is very unfair.”

The Politico Europe article also highlights the comparison between Europe’s poor record on forest protection, and Malaysia’s high forest area percentage:

Earlier this month, Malaysia and Indonesia said that ILUC’s targeting of palm oil would constitute a trade barrier under World Trade Organization rules and that, what’s more, the coming criteria should “take into account the historical impact of mass deforestation in Europe.”

According to the latest United Nations FAO statistics, Malaysian forest area is growing and covers 56 per cent of Malaysia’s land area. Europe’s forest land, on the other hand, covers only about 35 per cent. Malaysia will not tolerate or be subject to the EU’s hypocrisy.

Politico Europe also highlighted that previous attempts by the EU to discriminate against Palm Oil biofuels have been met with clear signals that European exports to Southeast Asia would be severely impacted if the EU were to start such a trade dispute over Palm Oil.

Read the Politico Europe article in its entirety, here.