Antara News | 22 June 2017
Indonesia ready to clarify palm oil ban issue: Minister Hartarto
The Indonesian government is ready to provide an explanation regarding palm oil ban to the European Union (EU) parliament, Industry Minister Airlangga Hartarto said here on Thursday.
A clarification is needed to provide comprehensive information about the management of the countrys palm commodities.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) will pay a visit to Europe in July to have a talk with EU parliament and chief executives to discuss the issue.
In addition, coordination with the EU parliament is also critical with regard to the completion of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) negotiations between Indonesia and the EU countries.
"In addition to palm oil issue, the talk will also focus on CEPA, which requires parliamentary approval," Airlangga stated.
The unions Committee on International Trade (INTA) has previously visited Indonesia last May to gain insights into the countrys palm oil industry.
During the visit, the delegation of INTA visited oil palm plantations in Riau and had some talks with the government as well as the parliament.
In front of Indonesian parliament members, INTA stated that the EU parliamentary resolution on "Report on Palm Oil Deforestation of Rainforest" is non-binding and has no permanent legal force.
Spokesman of the EU parliamentary delegation, Sajjad Karim, noted that the meeting with the Indonesian government and stakeholders was carried out to resolve various misconceptions related to the management of the palm oil industry.
"It is clear that there is a misunderstanding that needs to be cleared from our perspective towards the palm oil industry in Indonesia. We hope this visit has provided enlightenment from the EU point of view," he remarked.
Karim hoped that the meetings and discussions that have been held could be important foundations to encourage the completion of CEPA.
"We feel todays meeting could encourage more dynamic political discussions related to CEPA negotiations, as this could be a win-win solution for the EU with Indonesia," he explained.
So far, Indonesia has developed a certification of Indonesia Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO), which is mandatory for all oil palm plantations, although currently the standard has not been recognized internationally.
Industry players continue to open up to improve the substance and utilization of ISPO to get world recognition, especially from the EU, which is currently the second largest palm oil importer for Indonesia.