Teresa Kok to lead palm oil mission to EU, Switzerland


Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok is leading a palm oil mission to the European Union (EU) and Switzerland from last Friday to Oct 6.

In a statement yesterday, the Primary Industries Ministry said the delegation would comprise officials from the ministry, Malaysian Palm Oil Board, Malaysian Palm Oil Council and the Malaysian Palm Oil Certification Council.

“The mission is part of Malaysia’s ongoing efforts to promote palm oil and palm-based products to key markets, as well as address anti-palm oil sentiments in the region.

“In particular, it aims to provide clear and accurate information to stakeholders with regard to the EU Renewable Energy Directive II (EU RED II), including issues on alleged deforestation, indirect land use change and subsequent market access of palm oil-derived biofuels into the EU,” it said. 

The mission covers Berne and Geneva in Switzerland, Madrid in Spain and Brussels in Belgium. 

The ministry said Kok would convene bilateral meetings with councillors from the Federal Council of Switzerland, as well as hold a Malaysian Palm Oil Roundtable Dialogue in Bern.

“In Geneva, Kok and her delegation will meet trade experts and representatives of palm oil-producing countries at the World Trade Organisation to discuss current issues and developments on palm oil and possible collaborations,” it said. 

In 2017, trade in palm oil and palm oil-based products between Malaysia and Switzerland totalled RM53.5 million, while exports of palm oil and palm oil-based products to Switzerland were valued at RM25.5 million. 

Kok is scheduled to deliver a keynote address at the European Palm Oil Conference (EPOC) 2018 in Madrid on recent developments in sustainable palm oil policies and operations in support of sustainable development goals in Malaysia. 

She will also attend the European Palm Oil Alliance Expert Panel and address members of the Spanish Alliance of Palm Oil and Spanish Biodiesel Association in a separate forum.

Spain has emerged as one of the largest importers of palm oil, especially for its RE needs. 

To wrap up the mission, Kok will convene bilateral meetings with the European Commission and the Council of EU in Brussels to discuss the developments of palm oil and the EU RED II legislation, besides possible collaborations between Malaysia and the EU to seek a solution for all.

Trade between Malaysia and the EU has been strong, particularly in palm oil and palm oil-based products, which was recorded at RM11.46 billion in 2017.

That year, the total value of Malaysia’s exports of palm oil and palm oil-based products to EU was RM11.03 billion, an increase of 7.5% from RM10.26 billion in 2016.— Bernama