Discriminatory EU rules squeeze Malaysia’s palm oil sector, says Fadillah

Deputy Prime Minister Fadillah Yusof says oil palm crops are more productive than the crops the European Union recommends growing. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, June 11, 2023.

THE European Union Deforestation-free Regulation (EUDR) and several other rules introduced by Europe are discriminatory towards restricting businesses and Malaysia’s palm oil industry, said Deputy Prime Minister Fadillah Yusof.

He said the regulation, in addition to the “European Green Deal”, is a proposal to restrict the entry of products from Malaysia, which are more productive and progressive compared with products produced in Europe. 

“For example, compared with our palm oil, Europe’s soy oil cultivation needs a larger land for production and they have to throw (the produce) away and replant to get results, unlike oil palm … which (bear fruit) or produce oil for up to 25 years.

“So our costs will be lower. For (Europe) to compete with us, it has introduced many things that can increase our business costs,” he told reporters after attending a discussion on rubber in Kampung Charok Gorok, Baling, today.

Fadillah, who is also plantation and commodities minister, said his officials have talked to his Indonesian counterpart about the discriminatory practice, which would also impact Indonesia’s oil palm industry.

“It is not just between Malaysia and Indonesia. We have agreed that Indonesia, as current Asean chairman, brings this matter to Asean for discussion,” he said. 

Recently, Fadillah and Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs (Komenko) Airlangga Hartarto took part in a joint mission to the EU to protect the palm oil sectors of both countries.

The joint mission to the EU was organised under the Council of Palm Producing Countries. 

Indonesia President Joko Widodo, during a recent working visit to Malaysia, had expressed the need for the two countries to collaborate more closely to oppose discrimination against palm oil. – Bernama, June 11, 2023.

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