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Thailand joins Malaysia, Indonesia to oppose EU move against palm oil

KUALA LUMPUR: Thailand, the world’s third largest palm oil producer, will cooperate with Malaysia and Indonesia to reject the European Union’s (EU) executive decision to adopt trade barrier against palm oil as part of its official legislation.

Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities, Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong, who had a bilateral meeting with Thailand’s Minister of Commerce, Sontirat Sontijirawong, here, said Thailand’s keenness to respond also portrayed the agreement and firmness of major palm oil producing countries to fight against the continuous prejudice and oppression by the EU on the commodity.

“Thailand’s commitment also proves that Malaysia is not alone in protecting the interests of three million smallholders in Asean and the efforts of campaigning against the EU resolution are gaining support from other palm oil producing countries,” he said in a statement today.

Thailand is estimated to produce almost 2.5 million tonnes of palm oil last year.

Mah said Asean’s major oil palm producing countries – Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand – would use all available resources to oppose the trade barrier by the EU Parliament, including through the Asean framework.

During the closed meeting, which also included high-ranking executives from both ministries, rubber related issues were also discussed, focusing on steps to stabilise global rubber prices, he said.

Mah gave an assurance that Malaysia would honour the rubber export quota as agreed, according to the Agreed Export Tonnage Scheme made during the International Rubber Tripartite Countries (ITRC) on Dec 22 last year.

He said the three ITRC countries also agreed to limit the export of natural rubber to 350,000 tonnes for the first three months of 2018.

“The readiness of ITRC countries in obliging the stated quota is important in ensuring this mechanism will bring a positive impact towards global natural rubber prices,” he added. — Bernama

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