BRUSSELS: Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof arrived in Brussels, Belgium, at 5.30am Malaysia time for his official visit and trade mission to the European Union (EU).
Joining him in his first visit to Europe since taking office are Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) chairman Mohamed Helmy Othman Basha, Malaysian Palm Oil Council chairman Datuk Carl Bek-Nielsen, as well as Sarawak’s Deputy Minister of Town Planning, Land Administration and Environment, Datuk Len Talif Salleh.
The mission to the EU is a joint mission with the Government of Indonesia under the Council of Palm Producing Countries (CPOPC).
On Feb 9, 2023, in Jakarta, Indonesia, Fadillah, who is also the Plantation and Commodities Minister and Dr (HC) Ir Airlangga Hartarto, Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, mutually agreed to protect the interests of the palm oil sector by strengthening efforts in dealing with the discrimination against palm oil.
This is in response to the implementation of the European Union Deforestation Regulation (EUDR), announced by the EU on Dec 6, 2022, which aims to prevent deforestation due to agricultural activities.
During the mission in Brussels, Belgium, both ministers are expected to hold various meetings and engagement sessions with the EU’s top leaders to explain the Council of Palm Producing Countries (CPOPC) member countries' stand on the implementation of the EUDR, which not only targeted the palm oil industry but also affected the livelihood of millions of smallholders.
As a member of the CPOPC, Malaysia is committed to actively participating in this platform and continuing the agenda of countering Western countries’ negative campaign on palm oil.
The engagement session with the EU will be intensified to achieve its intended outcome, which is beneficial to both palm oil-producing countries.
From Brussels, Fadillah will be heading to London, United Kingdom, on May 31, 2023, for a four-day working visit.
In London, he will hold meetings with several ministers responsible for the UK’s agricommodity sector and other ministers.
He is also scheduled to deliver his keynote address at the International Sustainable Palm Oil Forum, organised by the KSI Strategic Institute for Asia Pacific (KSI) and Malaysia-Link UK.
He will also visit the Tun Abdul Razak Research Centre (TARRC), one of the world’s leading rubber research and development centres.
The United Kingdom is Malaysia’s 23rd-most important trading partner.- Bernama