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Malaysia-Indonesia mission to the EU to be in May, says Fadillah

JAKARTA (Feb 10): Malaysia’s joint mission with Indonesia to the European Union (EU) to deal with the bloc’s restrictions on the entry of various commodity products will be carried out in May, says Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof.


Fadillah, who is also the plantation and commodities minister, said Malaysia will inform the EU about the reforestation programme and Malaysia’s Forestry Policy, which includes sustainable forest management, conservation and biodiversity protection.

“In Malaysia, we already have a policy not to open new forests other than what has been designated,” he told the media after holding a meeting with Indonesia’s Trade Minister Dr Zulkifli Hasan here.

Fadillah said the replanting of forest species in the community farming programme in Malaysia is actively underway.

Both also discussed the role of the Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries (CPOPC) to bring the issue of discriminatory trade barriers against palm oil and rubber producing countries to the Asean level.

Reportedly, seven commodities, namely palm oil, cattle, wood, soy, cocoa, coffee and rubber, that were cultivated or reared on land that was subject to deforestation or forest degradation, will be prohibited from entering the EU market once the legislation is approved by the European Parliament.

Other matters discussed include increasing cooperation in research and development (R&D) and marketing Malaysian products such as seismic rubber bearing technology for use in areas that are often hit by earthquakes, as well as the threat of defoliation disease on rubber trees (pestalotiopsis).

Fadillah was also informed by Zulkifli about the Border Trade Agreement and Border Crossing Agreement between Indonesia and Malaysia, which will be concluded soon.

He believes the agreement will facilitate cross-border trade between Indonesia and Malaysia, especially Sabah and Sarawak, as well as the entry of human resources from Indonesia in the oil palm sector in Sarawak.

Sarawak now exports electricity generated from hydroelectric dams to West Kalimantan and has been given the opportunity to build a hydroelectric dam in East Kalimantan, Fadillah said.

Meanwhile, the deputy prime minister said Malaysia will host the International Tripartite Rubber Council (ITRC) Ministerial Meeting in June.

The meeting, involving the main natural rubber-producing countries — Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand — will be preceded by technical committee level discussions in February, he said.

The CPOPC ministerial meeting will be held in May, of which Malaysia is the chairman this year.

Fadillah and his delegation are in Jakarta, in conjunction with a three-day working visit ending on Friday (Feb 10).

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