Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia and Malaysia have agreed to protect their palm oil sector and counter discrimination and unilateral policies affecting the commodity and harming the two countries' interests, Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto has informed.

"Today, our dialogue primarily is on the palm oil industry. We discussed some urgent issues on the palm oil industry dialogue and proposed a joint approach allowing for coordinated action that we concur to protect the palm oil sector," he said.

He was speaking at a press conference following a bilateral meeting with Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Plantation and Commodities Fadillah Yusof here on Thursday.

During the meeting, the two countries agreed to seek policy dialogues with major palm oil-importing countries, Hartarto added.

The strategy can help ensure expanded recognition of the Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil System (ISPO) and Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) in the global market followed by active measures.

According to Hartarto, the two countries also discussed expanding the Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries (CPOPC) through the inclusion of a third member after Malaysia and Indonesia.

"We have also agreed to welcome Honduras as the third member of CPOPC soon," he disclosed.

The two nations also agreed to send a joint mission to the European Union to address their concerns and prevent unwanted consequences of the EU's deforestation-free commodity policy regarding the palm oil sector, he said.

Apart from seeking a collaborative approach between the relevant parties, the CPOPC will also involve itself with the EU to seek mutually beneficial solutions for palm oil consuming and producing countries.

Hartarto said that after the joint mission to the EU, Indonesia and Malaysia will also visit India to explore the potential for cooperation. India recently recognized ISPO and MSPO through the Indian Palm Oil Sustainability Framework.

Meanwhile, Yusof said that small palm oil farmers from Indonesia and Malaysia will be included in the joint mission to the EU so as to allow their voices to be heard.

The Malaysian minister emphasized the importance of maintaining environmental sustainability in developing the economy through palm oil.

"(The effort) is not only for the agriculture industry but also to protect the rights of small farmers to alleviate themselves from poverty," he said.

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Translator: M Baqir Idrus A, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Tia Mutiasari
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