Malaysia postpones lodging complaint to WTO on biofuel policy

Structural changes in the EU after the European Parliament election in May as well as the situation involving Brexit have affected Malaysia’s action plan

by SHAHEERA AZNAM SHAH/ pic by RAZAK GHAZALI

MALAYSIA is deferring the complaint submission against the European Union’s (EU) biofuel policy to the Dispute Settlement Body of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) due to current political uncertainties in Europe.

According to Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok (picture; third from left), structural changes in the EU after the European Parliament election in May as well as the situation involving Brexit have affected Malaysia’s action plan.

Kok said the government, together with the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC), will submit the complaint early next year.

“We have to see the situation in Europe, but for now, I have to postpone the submission until next year,” she told reporters at the Global AgriTech Summit 2019 in Kuala Lumpur (KL) yesterday.

“The current situation in Europe will affect the structure of the EU government. Also, we need to wait until the Brexit poll is over,” Kok explained.

“I think different countries might want different committees and positions and they have yet to finalise their governments.”

In July, Kok said Malaysia would be lodging the complaint to the Dispute Settlement Body as early as November 2019.

She added that her ministry has been seeking AGC’s assistance to provide the expertise in building a strong case for Malaysia.

The WTO has established a dispute settlement system that independently resolves and provides recommendations on trade-related disputes among its 164 members.

It is the most sought-after tribunal body by global economies and has issued 153 reports and legal findings on trade dispute.

Meanwhile, Kok said the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) plans to establish more cooperatives involving young palm oil agropreneurs that focus on the implementation of advanced technology in agricultural production among smallholders.

“The ministry, Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) and Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry will discuss on forming more cooperatives which will promote more usage of advanced technologies to enhance agricultural production,” she added.

She said currently MPI has established 10 cooperatives through MPOB, where the government is giving RM100,000 in seed funding for each organisation.