ICYMI: Malaysia’s Swiss Message: No Trade Agreement without Palm Oil

In a visit to Switzerland this week by Malaysian Minister of Primary Industries Ms Teresa Kok, the Minister reminded the Swiss Government and other stakeholders, including the Head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research Mr Johann Schneider-Ammann, that Malaysia will not tolerate nor consider Palm Oil being discriminated against in the Free Trade Agreement negotiations between Malaysia and Switzerland.

Minister Kok’s comments were highlighted in the leading French speaking Swiss newspaper, Le Temps:

“Palm oil should not be seen as a threat… the Minister says that there is still 55% of Malaysia’s land area under forest cover, a goal Malaysia had set and must now maintain.”

Malaysia has been recognized as a world leader in forest conservation. As indicated by Minister Kok, Malaysia exceeds its commitment of 50%, made at the Rio Earth Summit.

“Palm oil should not be seen as a threat,” says Teresa Kok, who emphasizes the willingness of the newly formed government to get off to a good start. It aims to certify its entire supply chain by the end of 2019.”

 On the Malaysia-Switzerland FTA: “Only then can an agreement be considered. One thing is clear: Minister Teresa Kok does not want it if it excludes palm oil.”

The article may be viewed in its original formatting and entirety, here.