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.”
The United States won approval on Wednesday to impose tariffs on $7.5 billion worth of European goods over illegal EU subsidies handed to Airbus, threatening to trigger
The World Trade Organization (WTO) formally authorised the United States on Monday to impose tariffs on up to $7.5 billion of imports of EU goods after an arbitrator’s decision over subsidies to planemaker Airbus .
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 Vietnam-UAE Trade and Investment Forum kicked off in Hanoi on Tuesday in the presence of Eng. Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansoori, UAE Minister of Economy; and Tran Tuan Anh, Minister of Trade and Industry of Vietnam,
The world economy is changing at an unprecedented rate. The forces of globalisation and technological progress are altering the way that people all over the planet make a living. Some countries, especially in the emerging world,
Dubai Startup Hub, an initiative of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, has unveiled its revamped Market Access programme which pairs leading companies in the UAE with startups that offer innovative solutions addressing their key challenges.