The Indonesian and Australian governments are finalizing negotiations on crude palm oil trade, Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita said here on Monday.
“We are currently carrying out the process with Australia and we agreed that we will come out with the final agreement this August,” said the Minister after a meeting with Vice President Jusuf Kalla at the Vice President`s Office on Monday.
The Minister of Trade also continued to communicate intensively with the Australian parliament regarding the drafting of policies on the use of oil palm and its derivative products in Australia.
“There are still some things that are in the negotiations, and along with member of the Australian parliament Steven Ciobo, we have agreed that the next round of negotiation processes between the set teams will take place soon. They will leave out some items and later, the two ministers will take the final steps,” he explained.
In addition to Australia, the EU and the United States are also reviewing the use of palm oil and its derivative products in their countries.
They argued that palm oil products are not friendly to environmental sustainability, as it was also considered as the largest contributor to illegal logging.
However, the Minister of Trade saw the motive of industrial competition behind the ban on the use of crude palm oil in the European Union, the United States and Australia.
Therefore, the Government of Indonesia will seek to stop importing commodities from the areas, should the parliaments of these countries insist on halting the entry of crude palm oil from Indonesia.
“If they take such step (to ban the CPO), I would also let Norway know that we will also ban their fish (to come into Indonesia). Also with the purchase of aircraft, including Airbus and Boeing. If this (ban) continues to grow, then it is not impossible that we will halt it too,” he affirmed.
He further said that Indonesia has a high bargaining position with European countries in terms of CPO, as in some European courts, Indonesia crude palm oil is entitled to circulate in the country.
“On the one hand we (Indonesia) have won in some cases, but they still insisted until 2021 bio-diesel was removed from there, from Europe,” he stressed.