Indonesia, Malaysia set up council of palm oil producing countries

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia and Malaysia, both biggest palm oil producing countries in the world, will set up a Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries to ensure price stability and develop downstream industry, an Indonesian minister said.

The CPOPC will maintain price stability of the commodity by coordinating production and stock of palm oil in the global market, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Resources, Rizal Ramli, said here on Saturday.

"The market understands that Indonesia and Malaysia can ensure price stability if they join hands," he said, adding that the two countries control 85 percent of the worlds palm oil market.

Rizal said Indonesia and Malaysia would invite other palm oil producing countries to join the Council.

He said the CPOPC is expected to be inaugurated at the end of this month after Indonesian President Joko Widodo met with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.

He said the Council would also bring harmony in palm oil production standards based on economic sustainability.

Indonesia and Malaysia will first harmonize the standards of the Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) and Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO).

"The harmonization will improve the competitiveness of our product," he said.

Rizal said improving competitiveness is important because advanced countries markets apply high standards to protect certain industrial sectors.

"Behind the reason for these high standards is a motive to protect soybean, sunflower and other industries," he said.

Rizal said the initiative to set up the Council was an idea that had come up a long time ago.

When the two governments met to discuss the issue of setting up such a council in August in Malaysia, the palm oil market had already given its positive response, he added.

Malaysian minister of plantation industry and commodities Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said the Council would encourage the implementation of green and environment-friendly palm oil industries.

In view of that, besides price stabilization and harmonization of standards, the Council will also have a working committee to study sustainable palm oil industries.

"We will facilitate international private parties with regard to the establishment of a Green Economic Zone for value added palm oil industries," he said.

Technical ministries of Indonesia and Malaysia will later form a working committee that will ensure that they work in line with the CPOPC agenda, he said.

reporting by indra arief pribadi