PETALING JAYA: Bilateral discussions and discourses between Malaysia and the Netherlands need to be intensified to ensure accurate facts of the palm oil industry are propagated effectively, Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong (pic) said.
The Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister said the position of the Netherlands on the unjust ban of palm oil by the European Union (EU) economic bloc was “matured and rational”.
“The public stance from representatives of the Netherlands government at this moment is important, as the Netherlands represents the biggest export destination for Malaysian palm oil among the 28 EU member countries,” he said in a statement yesterday.
Last year, the total value of palm oil and palm-based exports to EU countries stood at RM11bil, and of that total, exports to the Netherlands were RM6.3bil.
The Netherlands is among the EU countries that are opposing the proposed ban on palm oil by the European Parliament.
Netherlands’ Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Minister Sigrid Kaag said the country did not support discriminatory measures or differentiation between products and called for a dialogue on the palm oil issue instead.
Mah said he discussed issues related to development and cooperation between both nations for the palm oil industry during the bilateral discussion with Kaag yesterday.
Mah and Kaag also agreed to strengthen their cooperation through the Malaysia-Netherlands Sub-Committee on Oil Palm.
The two ministers also witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Malaysia Palm Oil Board and the Netherlands’ Wageningen Food and Biobased Research, on the Optimisation of Sustainable Use of Oil Palm Biomass.
“This cooperation serves to develop downstream search programmes targeted at value-added products, such as packaging and bio-plastics from oil palm trunks,” said Mah.
Did you find this article insightful?