Mah says Asean protest shows firm stand against bar­ri­ers to trade

New Straits Times - - Business -

KUALA LUMPUR: Asean’s protest against the Euro­pean Union’s Res­o­lu­tion on Palm Oil and De­for­esta­tion of Rain­for­est showed in­creas­ing aware­ness and co­op­er­a­tion among de­vel­op­ing na­tions in dis­man­tling bar­ri­ers to trade, said Plan­ta­tion In­dus­tries and Com­modi­ties Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong.

He said Asean lead­ers had urged the EU to prac­tise equal op­por­tu­ni­ties to trade by recog­nis­ing the cer­ti­fi­ca­tion of sus­tain­able palm oil schemes in palm-pro­duc­ing coun­tries within the re­gion.

“In­done­sia and Malaysia’s sus­tain­abil­ity cer­ti­fi­ca­tion on palm oil demon­strates Asean’s com­mit­ment to the United Na­tions sus­tain­able devel­op­ment goals.”

In wel­com­ing the “strong sup­port, firm stand and deep un­der­stand­ing” by coun­tries in South­east Asia, Mah de­scribed the con­sen­sus reached dur­ing the re­cent 30th Asean Lead­ers Sum­mit in Manila as “a truly peo­ple-ori­ented one”.

He said the palm oil in­dus­try in Asean in­volved more than 3.5 mil­lion small­hold­ers, mostly in Malaysia, In­done­sia and Thai­land.

“Sup­port from Asean will re­in­force mea­sures that have been taken by Malaysia and In­done­sia through the Coun­cil of Palm Oil Pro­duc­ing Coun­tries,” he said.

Mah said his min­istry had held bi­lat­eral talks with the am­bas­sador and head of the EU del­e­ga­tion to Malaysia, Maria Castillo Fer­nan­dez, to dis­cuss the EU res­o­lu­tion on palm oil.

In the meet­ing, Mah said his min­istry had the facts and fig­ures to ad­dress the neg­a­tive sen­ti­ment in ma­jor EU coun­tries.

His min­istry also high­lighted that the EU im­ported up to 7.5 mil­lion tonnes of palm oil per year, with ship­ment from Malaysia ac­count­ing for 29 per cent of its palm oil im­ports. Ooi Tee Ching

AIZUDDIN SAAD PIC BY

Plan­ta­tion In­dus­tries and Com­modi­ties Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong says Asean lead­ers have urged the EU to prac­tise equal op­por­tu­ni­ties to trade.

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