Indonesia is being resolute in going tit-for-tat against European Union (EU) in response to its palm oil trade ‘discrimination’. In so doing, the country is about to file a complaint to World Trade Organization pertinent to the matter.
Wisnu Wardhana, foreign trade director general at the Trade Ministry, declared so on this week’s Friday. Indonesia will, most likely, file the case to WTO on early November.
Indonesian government will conduct a contestation over EU’s Renewable Energy Directive II (RED II). Head of the Trade Advocacy Bureau of the Ministry of Trade, Sondang Anggraini, elaborated the intent.
“The Indonesian government must prepare to face RED II since this rule will have a negative impact on the palm oil industry in Indonesia. It is important for us to explore further the preparation and legal position of Indonesia in facing the implementation phase of the EU-RED II.”
Accordingly, RED II is affecting the country’s palm oil industry in an obstructive way. Furthermore, EU’s decision to link biofuels to Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC) puts Indonesia’s palm oil industry in an unpleasant position.
ILUC regulates the elimination of the usage of deforestation-inducing products and palm oil belongs to the category. Based on the schedule, EU countries are expected to implement RED II by 2021. Subsequently, by 2030, EU countries should not use biofuels from materials that possibly contribute to climate change.
In her defense, Sondang compared EU’s bans on Indonesia’s palm oil to other countries’ soybean oil. In other words, Indonesia sees the policy as a political attempt to jeopardize palm oil trade while, at the same minute, reinforce other biofuel products.
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Indonesia-Netherlands Bilateral Meetings
Recently, on October 7, Indonesian President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo met Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte to discuss further economic joints. Jokowi, which will run his second term, aims to strengthen the country’s economic ties with one of its key economic partners in Europe, Netherlands.
“We will continue to strengthen this cooperation by adopting a framework of comprehensive partnerships owned by the two countries, Indonesia and the Netherlands,” said Jokowi.
During the discussion, Jokowi mentioned Indonesia’s concern on palm oil trade. The president hoped that Indonesia and Netherlands can establish fair and open trades, including the palm oil sector.
“In this subject, I have again conveyed Indonesia’s concerns about the European Union’s policy on palm oil,” he added.
In the same occasion, Jokowi also appreciated Netherlands’ willingness to collaborate on palm oil farmers’ capacity development. Accordingly, both countries have agreed to cooperate on the matter in New York on September 26.
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