Hanoi (VNA) – Malaysian Minister of Primary Teresa Kok said on July 16 that the country will lodge a complaint with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) over the European Union’s plan to phase out the use of palm oil in biofuels.
As the world’s second biggest palm oil producer after Indonesia, Malaysia would be hit hard by the EU’s plan to cut its use in biofuels by 2030.
“Malaysia will file a WTO complaint… hopefully by November,” the minister told AFP.
The attorney-general’s office was working on the complaint and Malaysia hoped to cooperate with Indonesia in the case, she said.
Palm oil is a major ingredient in a wide range of products from food to cosmetics but it has long been controversial as environmentalists say it drives deforestation, with huge swathes of rainforest logged in recent decades to make way for plantations.
Its use in food and cosmetics has already dropped in Europe, partly due to pressure from green groups on major corporations, but has been increasing in biofuels.
In March, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad slammed the EU move to curb palm oil in biofuels, saying it risks opening up a trade war with Malaysia.
He has also warned of retaliation by buying new fighter jets from China instead of France’s Rafale jet or the Eurofighter Typhoon.
Last week, Indonesian President Joko Widodo promised to fight the EU’s plans, telling Bloomberg News that palm oil is a strategic commodity for Indonesia.-VNA
- Malaysia to file WTO complaint on EU's palm oil curb
- Malaysia in last ditch effort to avert EU palm oil curbs
- Malaysia says EU palm oil curbs may undermine France’s fighter jet bid
- Malaysia minister accuses EU of palm oil 'trade war'
- Malaysia to respond with ‘might and tact’ if EU proceeds with palm oil curbs -minister
- Indonesia threatens to challenge EU at WTO in palm oil feud
- Malaysia turning to food crops as palm oil price falls
- Sustainability issue affects fair trade in palm oil
- Trade barriers blamed for decline in palm oil exports
- Indonesia should find new markets for palm oil: Minister