France supports Malaysia, not in favour of palm oil ban


Hishammuddin (right) and Parly speaking during a joint press conference at Wisma Perwira on Monday.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia can rely on France's support as it is not in favour of the resolutions by the European Union (EU) to ban palm oil.

France Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly said her government understood the importance of palm oil for Malaysia's economy.

"I am honoured to have met this morning with the Malaysian Prime Minister.

"We had a fruitful exchange on all issues and he raised the issue of palm oil.

"I told him that we understood the importance of it for the economy, in particular for rural development," she said after attending the Fourth Malaysia-France Defence Joint High Strategic Committee Meeting with Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein at Wisma Perwira here on Monday (Jan 29).

She said France was not in favour of the ban and discrimination against palm oil at the national and EU levels.

"We want to work together with producing countries to encourage sustainability in this sector to the benefit of all sides and in the spirit of full dialogue and cooperation," she said, adding that Malaysia can count on France's support.

Earlier this year, the EU Parliament passed two resolutions - to impose a single certified sustainable palm oil scheme for Europe-bound palm oil exports after 2020 and to phase out palm oil from the EU biofuel programme by 2020.

This follows claims that palm oil producers have failed to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which includes responsible consumption, production and climate action.

The resolutions would threaten the livelihoods of 650,000 smallholders and over 3.2 million Malaysians who rely on the palm oil industry, according to industry group the Malaysian Palm Oil Council.
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