Malaysia, Indonesia should jointly repel EU pressure on palm oil


Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Friday (June 29) that Indonesia should join forces with his country to oppose pressure from Europe on the palm oil industry in the world's top two producers of the edible oil.

Dr Mahathir, speaking during a state visit to Indonesia, said the neighbours faced "similar problems" in the industry.

"Our palm oil is threatened by Europe and we need to oppose them together," Dr Mahathir told a joint news conference with Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

The European Union is among the two countries' largest export markets for palm oil, but it has moved to curb its use to meet climate goals.

Palm oil is used in a wide range of products from chocolate to shampoo and the industry has come under scrutiny in recent years as it is often blamed for causing deforestation and forest fires.

"European countries used to be covered with forests but they've cut them down and nobody argues with them about it. But when we clear land they say it pollutes the climate," said the 92-year-old premier, who recently came back to power in Malaysia after a shock election victory.

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