Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian Association of Palm Oil Companies (GAPKI) regretted that APEC has rejected Indonesian proposal for the inclusion of palm oil in the list of environmentally friendly products.

The Indonesian government failed to rally enough support for its proposal in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Vladivostok, Russia, ending yesterday.

"The APEC meeting was important although it has no binding regulation on its members to comply with a decision, but it is still regrettable that CPO failed to gain APEC approval for reason that it is not yet well known," GAPKI chairman M. Fadhil Hasan said here on Monday.

Indonesia is the world`s largest producer of CPO and has been a target of criticism especially in Europe that the country has destroyed its tropical forests to give space for oil palm plantations.

"In the beginning we were hopeful that Indonesia would succeed in having CPO declared as environmentally friendly product," Fadhil said.

He said APEC approval would be positive for exports as the import duties on CPO would not be more than 5 percent in its member countries.

Fadhil, however, said GAPKI remains optimistic that demand for Indonesian CPO would continue to grow in the world market.

There is possibility that import duties on CPO in APEC member countries would be cut under bilateral trade agreements, he said.

He said CPO deserves to be declared as environmentally friendly as under the implementation of "Indonesia Sustainable Palm Oil" (ISPO) palm oil companies are required to adopt the sustainable principle in the process of its production.

ISPO is a verification system to strengthen the competitiveness of the country`s palm oil domestically and internationally.

"If all palm oil companies in Indonesia adopt ISPO, CPO could be categorized as environmentally friendly goods," Fadhil said. (ASG/YH)

Editor: Kunto Wibisono
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