Saturday, 13 September 2008

From Tengku Noor Shamsiah Tengku Abdullah

From Tengku Noor Shamsiah Tengku Abdullah

BRUSSELS, 12 Sept (Bernama) -- The Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) has been working hard for the past three years to promote palm oil in Europe, its chief executive officer Tan Sri Datuk Dr Yusof Basiron said."As far as MPOC is concerned, we have been working to position palm oil in a very favourable way for the last three years," he told Bernama on the sidelines of the Joint Ministerial Mission here Friday.

He said MPOC helped to organise the mission to the European Union (EU) to help overcome problems like the import of palm oil into Europe following the issuance of the EU's directives.

"The mission, from Sept 7-15 and led by Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities, Datuk Peter Chin Fah Kui, came here to meet the relevant authorities, including the commissioners and the chairmen of various committees, to voice our opposition to the impending legislation or directives that will affect palm oil sales to Europe," he said.

On the proposed EU legislation, he said: "We knew they will be putting a lot of barriers to palm oil's entry into Europe."Yusof said the EU was doing this for reasons like its concern for environment and to ensure palm oil would be not eligible to participate in its biodiesel industry so that it did not have to pay subsidies to the Malaysian exporters.

"The ultimate intention is well-known but of course is not written. What they write are technical issues in the directives that will automatically disqualify palm oil."They miscalculated or purposely put a very low carbon emission saving percentage figure for palm oil which is below their threshold figure of 35 percent," he said.

He said palm oil was given 32 percent so that it would be automatically disqualified from having access to biofuel market in the EU."This is a clever design and we are opposing it because the figure is actually not scientific-based," he said.Yusof said the MPOC had engaged a public relations firm to explain the developments and managed to arrange meetings with various authorities in Europe to explain the country's views.-- BERNAMA