Palm oil is a key ingredient in an array of products including cosmetics and biofuel, making it a crucial export for Malaysia. File photo/ AFP
Malaysia will lodge a complaint with the World Trade Organization over the European Union’s plan to phase out the use of palm oil in biofuels, a minister said on Tuesday.
The Southeast Asian country is the world’s second biggest palm oil producer after Indonesia and 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,” Teresa Kok, the minister responsible for the edible vegetable oil, told AFP.
She said the attorney-general’s office was working on the complaint and Malaysia hoped to cooperate with Indonesia in the case.
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.
Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad in March 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.”
Britain is a leading member — of Nato. It is something Tory MPs never forget and avidly support. Nato is a multi-national organisation where each country gives up part of its sovereignty to provide security for all. It was created in 1949 with a single purpose — to prevent Russia, then in the form of the Soviet
If Boris Johnson becomes Britain’s next prime minister, as seems likely, there will be two “Anglo” clowns on the world stage. The US’ Donald Trump being the first to appear.
A hijab-wearing, diminutive Malaysian wrestler known as "Phoenix" cuts an unusual figure in the ring, a female Muslim fighter taking on hulking opponents in a male-dominated world.
The Dubai Maritime City Authority (DMCA) has revealed the successful opening of its newest registration and licensing centre in Umm Suqeim. The move complements the government’s continuing efforts towards achieving customer happiness
Turkish industrial production fell for the tenth consecutive month in June, data showed, offering few signs of a pick-up in economic growth as domestic demand remains weak after last year’s currency crisis.
Brazil’s decision to sell dollars on the spot market for the first time in a decade is a sign the central bank (CB) is finally willing to reduce its $385 billion pile of foreign exchange (forex) reserves, analysts said.
Ratings agencies Fitch and Standard & Poor’s (S&P) downgraded Argentina’s sovereign debt rating, flagging higher chances of a default in the wake of a shock primary election result that plunged the country into its latest economic crisis.