Malaysia, Indonesia set up palm oil council

The plan to set up a Council of Palm Oil Producer Countries by Malaysia and Indonesia is an indication of the success of bilateral relations, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

He said the council, which was proposed by both countries in 2006, has become a reality when a consensus was reached on the structure of the organisation which would operate from here.

The council would set new standards in the production of palm oil and cooperation on managing world stockpile, he said.

“The setting up of the council is historical and significant for palm oil producing countries,” he told reporters after meeting Indonesian President Joko Widodo at the presidential palace in Bogor Sunday.

Najib said Malaysia and Indonesia, which controlled 80 per cent of the palm oil production, would invite other producing countries to join the council.

He said the council would help stabilise the price and boost cooperation in the downstream sector.

“The council will benefit the industry and it would act against anti-palm oil lobby and the discrimination which would arise. We will act together,” he said.

The prime minister said the council would also develop green economy zone and boost the socio-economic development of the smallholders.

Najib said the council would be headed by a chief executive whose name would be unveiled at the official ASEAN summit in Kuala Lumpur on Nov 15.

On the government level, he said, Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities, Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah, would meet with Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister of Maritime and Mineral Resources, Dr Rizal Ramli, on the matter.

Earlier, Jokowi, in a joint statement with Najib, said the new standards to be introduced by the council would be based on Malaysia’s and Indonesia’s.

He said both countries agreed to develop the industry related to palm oil and a working committee was set up to implement the plans as soon as possible.

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