PUTRAJAYA: There will be more collaboration between Malaysia and Indonesia to fight “discrimination” against palm oil products from the two countries, say Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and his Indonesian counterpart Joko Widodo.
The duo also agreed to cooperate closely against the measures against palm oil by the European Union (EU).
“Both leaders undertook to cooperate closely to address highly detrimental discriminatory measures against palm oil by the EU through the introduction of the EU Deforestation Regulation (EUDR).
“They underline that the EU needs to promptly address such discriminatory measures and work towards a fair and equitable resolution,” Anwar and Jokowi said in a joint statement on Thursday (June 8)
In a press conference held after a closed-door meeting between the duo, Anwar commended the joint representation by Malaysia and Indonesia against the EU’s “discrimination” against palm oil.
“For the first time, there is one voice between Malaysia and Indonesia to defend the interests of palm oil," he said.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadilah Yusof, with a Malaysian delegation and counterparts from Indonesia, had met with EU leaders and its parliament to negotiate terms of the upcoming EUDR.
Anwar said the Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte even joked that Anwar himself was in a “new cartel”.
“I didn’t catch it at first. Then I realised that the ‘cartel’ included the Indonesian Prime Minister in the recent G7 meeting to defend our economy and people,” added Anwar.
Joko, who spoke in the press conference after Anwar, also welcomed the new joint cooperation between Malaysia and Indonesia on the matter.
“This (cooperation) has to be strengthened. Don’t let the palm oil produced by Malaysia and Indonesia be discriminated against by other countries,” added Joko.
The EU passed a law this year banning imports of commodities linked to deforestation and it is expected to adversely impact palm oil exports to the EU.
Jokowi, as he is better known, began his two-day visit in Malaysia on Wednesday (June 7) evening and he is expected to depart to Indonesia later Thursday (June 8) evening.
Jokowi last visited Malaysia in 2019 after being elected for a second term in the Presidential Election.