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PUTRAJAYA, Nov 1: Responding to the European Union delegation to Malaysia’s comments on the EU Parliament Resolution on Palm Oil and Deforestation of Rainforests, Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities, Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong welcomes EU’s commitment to work together with Malaysia and other palm oil producing countries in a constructive way.
“The European Commission acknowledged that palm oil plays an important role in Malaysia’s economy, and it contributes directly and indirectly to lifting many smallholders out of poverty.
“In this regards, the Minister describes the response given by European Union Delegation to Malaysia as an encouraging milestone achieved from continuous engagements with key stakeholders from European Parliament, including several meetings with EU Commissioners during the Special Mission to EU Parliament in July 2017 led by Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong himself, as well as the recent Special Mission by six Malaysian Members of Parliament from Oct 14–21,” Mah’s office said in a statement yesterday.
Mah urged the EU to reflect on its commitment to work together with Malaysia by putting serious consideration towards recognising the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) standard. This national standard developed by Malaysia is presented as the future of sustainable palm oil exports to Europe. Malaysia has implemented the MSPO Certification Scheme that will be mandatory for the whole value chain of Malaysian palm oil industry.
“Malaysia has world-leading sustainable palm oil practices, and attempts by the Environment Committee (ENVI) of the European Union to suggest otherwise are unacceptable. After all Malaysia and the EU have been engaged in talks to secure a free trade agreement.
“The Malaysian government will take any action necessary to protect the rights of 650,000 Malaysian palm oil small farmers, and to secure the future of the palm oil sector that has lifted millions of Malaysians out of poverty. Protectionist discrimination against Malaysian Palm Oil exports will not be tolerated.”
The ministry said Malaysian palm oil exporters are able to meet the strictest standards of sustainability required by their European customers, and Malaysian palm oil biofuel exporters have been certified as sustainable by leading European sustainability schemes, including the German ISCC (International Sustainability and Carbon Certification). This has been recognized by the European Commission.
“While we note that the European Parliament Resolution on palm oil and deforestation adopted on April 4 is non-binding in nature, Malaysia is disappointed that the proposals put forth in the EU Parliament Resolution on Deforestation are being enacted by the Commission through the formal, binding, EU regulatory process.
In this matter, a special meeting will be held between Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong and the Ambassadors from the European Union to Malaysia in the coming few weeks to further discuss on matters pertaining to the EU Parliament Resolution on Palm Oil.” —