Malaysia backs the Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries’ (CPOC) move to submit an objection to Belgium, which is planning to ban the use of palm oil as a biofuel next year.
CPOPC has made its objection through a letter to Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo. Malaysia is one of the founding members of CPOPC.
Commodities Minister Mohd Khairuddin said Belgium’s decision came after a similar move taken by France and Lithuania.
He said: “As the world’s second largest palm oil producer, Malaysia is extremely disappointed with the action that was taken without considering the country’s determination and effort to ensure the sustainability of the palm oil industry.
“Belgium’s move is clearly inconsistent with the free trade principles as outlined by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and is a form of discrimination against Malaysia’s palm products.”
Mohd Khairuddin said although the total palm-based biofuel export to Belgium was negligible, the European nation’s action could influence other countries and create a negative image of Malaysia’s palm oil industry.
“Regarding this matter, Malaysia urges Belgium and the European Union (EU) as well as its member states to examine the effects of this restriction more objectively,” he added.
Earlier this year, Malaysia initiated legal action against the EU and its member countries with regard to the implementation of EU RED II by filing a request for consultations through the Dispute Settlement Mechanism under the WTO.
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