ASEAN-UE Should Partner Up Against Black Campaign on Palm Oil

   •    05 Maret 2018 10:52 WIB
crude palm oil
ASEAN-UE Should Partner Up Against Black Campaign on Palm Oil
Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita (Photo: Antara).

Jakarta: The Indonesian government hopes that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and European Union (EU) will partner up to fight against the black campaign on palm oil, Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita said.

The minister expressed his hoped when representing the Indonesian delegation during the 16th Consultation of ASEAN Economic Ministers-European Union (AEM-EU) Trade Commission in Singapore.

According to an official written statement received by Antara in Jakarta, Sunday (March 4), the minister said the palm oil has backed the Indonesia's economy sector.

"Hence, the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between ASEAN and EU should launch programs that would support the micro and middle businesses (UMKM) (on palm oil). The FTA should also help the Indonesian government tackling the black campaign on palm oil," Lukita noted.

During the meeting, the minister has discussed several plans of negotiations on Free Trade Agreement between ASEAN and European Union.

"These negotiation plans need more concrete platforms, because each party has different issues, and interests," Lukita remarked.

The partnership between ASEAN and EU has been flourished for past years, as seen from the high investment and trade worth 226.6 billion euro per year in 2017. The figure has been increased 9.1 percent from the previous year. European Union is one of the largest Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) for ASEAN, which is worth 26.3 billion euro in 2016.

Before attending the consultation meeting, the trade minister has held a bilateral meeting with  Cecilia Malmström, EU Trade Commissioner. Both leaders have appreciated some agreements inked on the 4th Indonesia-European Union Comprehensive Partnership Agreement (I-EU CEPA) in Surakarta, Central Java, on Feb 19-23.

During the last meeting in Feb, the European Union is committed to paying more attentions to the palm oil issue in Indonesia. The Indonesian government has stressed that all parties should have a similar understanding on the trade and sustainable development.

The minister emphasized that the any trade agreements should be fairly implemented. Therefore, the two parties have agreed to back a plan on FTA of ASEAN and EU, in order to cut the inequality of two regions. (ANTARA)