Govt forming legal team to deal with palm oil discrimination


THE government is forming a cabinet-approved legal team to take action against the European Union’s (EU) anti-palm oil campaign via a dispute settlement mechanism under the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Dr Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali said the ministry is taking proactive action to safeguard the oil palm industry, which includes promoting palm oil nutrition at the international level.

This, he said, can be done by sponsoring studies on palm oil, to be carried out by researchers who can also become international spokespersons on the studies that they have conducted.

He said this in response to a supplementary question from Datuk Jalaluddin Alias (Jelebu-BN) on the ministry’s action against the EU’s palm oil boycott threat.

Earlier on, Mohd Khairuddin said the Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry (MPIC) has taken steps to boost palm oil exports, including strengthening the existing export markets, particularly India, China, Pakistan and the United States.

The MPIC will also continue promoting oil palm products more aggressively to penetrate the African and Middle Eastern regional markets.

“We will increase our research and development activities to create new products with added-value, and strengthen our market through negotiations on bilateral free trade agreements and regional trade consultations,” he added.