Government Ready to Face Trade War on Palm

By : Herry Barus And Aldo Bella Putra | Saturday, November 04 2017 - 18:10 IWST

INDUSTRY.co.id - Nusa Dua - The Indonesian government is ready to face the trade wars launched by European countries, among others in the form of a negative campaign against the national palm.

Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita at the International Palm Oil Conference (IPOC) 2017 in Nusa Dua, Bali, Friday (3/11/2017) said, so far the negative issues of palm oil (CPO) is merely competition not healthy between vegetable oils.

"Europe has always denied that (negative campaign on palm oil) is said to be a trade war. We will be proactive to face them.We will start 'trade war'," said the Minister of Trade as reported by Antara.

According to Enggartiasto, Indonesia does not object to the various terms and conditions set by the EU on Indonesian palm oil products that enter their market.

Nevertheless, the Indonesian government considers that the applied provisions are discriminatory only applied to palm products while other vegetable oil from European countries is not subject to.

In fact, he continued, palm oil is a plantation commodity that uses the least land and greenest than other vegetable oils such as sunflower or rape seed cultivated in Europe.

In fact, in terms of health, according to the Minister, their allegation that palm oil has a negative impact so far is not scientifically proven, in contrast to oil from animal products.

Similarly, allegations of the use of child labor and the welfare of farmers, the cause of land and forest fires added, is not proven because the palm industry is very obedient to meet the rules set.

"So the ongoing issue exhaled on the palm oil industry is part of the trade war and competition," he said.

The Minister of Trade acknowledges that all the stakeholders of the palm oil industry in the country, both the government and business actors, have taken more defensive measures against European trade attacks through negative campaigns on palm oil.

Therefore, he asked all stakeholders of the palm oil industry in the country to unite to face the negative issues that are always waged by them. "We have to be offensive do not be defensive against them," he said.

In relation to the concrete steps the government will take in facing an attack on the national oil industry by the European Union, the minister said it is ready to stop importing milk powder from Europe which is also considered to disrupt domestic dairy farmers’ production.

"We have to protect domestic dairy farmers, we will do that (stop importing milk powder)," he said.

In addition, he added, Indonesia could stop exporting palm oil to Europe within a month that will surely have an impact on their entire lives especially during winter.

Alluding to the opening of new markets outside Europe to Indonesia's palm oil exports, the minister said the government is ready to do so.

IPOC activities this year entering the 13th year followed by as many as 1,500 participants from 23 countries, opened Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Darmin Nasution representing President Joko Widodo and attended by Minister of Agrarian and Spatial Sofyan Jalil.

IPOC 2017 with the theme "Growth through Productivity: Partnership with Smallholders" takes place November 1-4, 2017.

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