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Palm oil dispute should not damage Indonesia’s relations with EU

An Indonesian worker handles palm oil seeds at a plantation in Pelalawan, Riau province on Sumatra island. Photo: AFP/Adek Berry. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

Pan Pacific Agency | COMMUICATION AGENCY FOR PACIFICA REGIONS

JAKARTA, Nov 29, 2019, ANTARA. Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto said that the issue of the discrimination of Indonesian palm oil should not damage the country’s multilateral relations with the member countries of the European Union, ANTARA reported.

“I have highlighted that the discrimination against palm oil is present especially for biofuel or biodiesel, where Indonesia’s market for biofuel in the European Union reaches 650 million US dollars, while the total value of our trade with Europe reaches 31 billion US dollars,” he said to reporters in the Presidential Offices in Jakarta, Thursday.

The Coordinating Minister had been accompanying President Joko Widodo when he received the visit of the European Union-ASEAN Business Board delegates. They held talks on cooperation potentials between Indonesia and corporations from European countries.

Hartarto believed that the trade numbers between Indonesia and the European Union can potentially be increased. He also hoped for the palm oil dispute to be settled well.

“Aside from that, we also reminded them that Indonesia is still the biggest buyer for Airbus, and that there is still a pending order of 200 aeroplanes. We aim to look for solutions to biodiesel problems in Europe,” he said.

President Joko Widodo stated that there has been an obstacle for Indonesian palm oil to enter the European Union market, in terms of regulations or through the corporations in the region. Indonesia continue to make serious efforts to address the discrimination.

“Negotiations regarding the EU-Indonesia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) will continue, and palm oil will surely be included within the negotiations,” said President Jokowi.

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