Malaysia’s Minister of Primary Industries Ms Teresa Kok has condemned Norway’s ongoing campaign against Palm Oil and against the Norwegian Parliament’s erroneous decision to limit and phase out Palm Oil biofuels.
The Malaysian Government warned that the Norwegian Parliament’s decision to ban Palm Oil biofuels goes against fair and free trade, and will adversely affect Malaysia-European Free Trade Association (EFTA) trade negotiations, which includes Norway, Switzerland and Lichtenstein.
Malaysia’s International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Darell Leiking has said while EFTA negotiations are ongoing, Malaysia wishes to “understand Norway’s act of condemning Malaysia’s palm oil” and would welcome the opportunity to “meet them [Norwegian leaders] and explain the real situation how we sustainably operate the palm oil industry”.
This measure places a discriminatory and illegitimate label on Malaysian Palm Oil as ‘unsustainable’, despite Malaysia’s leading commitment to Good Agricultural Practices, sustainable development, and its forest conservation efforts to maintain over 50 per cent forest cover.
Minister Teresa Kok said:
“The stand taken by Norway against palm oil will adversely affect bilateral trade relations between Malaysia and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) that includes Norway, and would be a major obstacle towards a successful conclusion of the Malaysia EFTA partnership talks.
“This sort of action smacks of injustice and discrimination against products from developing countries like Malaysia. As a responsible producer of palm oil, we have already set in motion various initiatives to ensure sustainable practices are the norm rather than the exception, throughout the palm oil value chain.
The Malaysia EFTA partnership agreement must provide fair market access to all of the countries involved, including fair treatment of sustainable palm oil which is produced in Malaysia. Without this fair market access, it will not be in the interest of Malaysia to pursue what will be a bad deal for the country and its people, particularly our 650,000 oil palm smallholders whose livelihood is at stake.”
Read the Minister’s full statement, here.
Read more on Minister Datuk Darell Leiking’s comments, here.