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    Tuesday, March 22, 2016

    Efforts Underway To Oppose France's Move To Impose Higher Import Duty On Palm Oil

    KUALA LUMPUR: The Plantations and Commodities Ministry is mounting several measures including a campaign to oppose the move by France to triple import taxes on palm oil.

    Deputy Minister Datuk Noriah Kasnon said Malaysia and Indonesia, the world's two largest producers, had also issued a joint statement to oppose the move while Plantations and Commodities Minister Datuk Douglas Uggah Embas had personally handed over a protest letter to the French ambassador in Kuala Lumpur.

    France planned to issue a biodiversity law that will triple import taxes on palm oil products, one of Malaysia's main export commodities.

    "We have pointed out that France's plan was a clear discrimination against palm oil and this will surely have a negative implication on smallholders who produce 40% of Malaysia's oil palm output," she said in reply to Datuk Raime Unggi (BN-Tenom) who asked about steps being taken to counter the plan which would raise import tax on palm oil by €900 (RM4119) per tonne.

    Noriah said the ministry was working closely with the French Sustainable Palm Oil Alliance and French Food Association to garner support among French senate members to consider the plight of smallholders in voting for the bill.

    She added the ministry suggested mounting a special mission to France, before the senate convened in May or June, to lobby and highlight the possible repercussion of the senate's move to raise import tax arbitararily.

    Malaysia exported RM35.64 billion worth of palm oil from 2010 to 2015 to the European Union, the third largest destination for the edible oil.
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