Jakarta: The Indonesian government may refer the European Union's (EU) discriminatory policy on palm oil to the World Trade Organization (WTO).
"Soon after the European Union Parliament adopts it, it becomes formal. Therefore, Indonesia is determined to refer it to the WTO," Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Darmin Nasution said at a press briefing on the EU discriminatory policy on palm oil at the Foreign Ministry here on Wednesday.
The government will likely take other steps to respond to the EU policy, he said without elaborating.
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In the prelude to his address, the minister noted that cooperation between Indonesia and Europe has lasted for quite a long time. So far, Indonesia has taken an objective stand and adopted a good presumption and the two sides even discussed a comprehensive partnership last week, he said.
Meanwhile, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Panjaitan said Indonesia has good relations with the EU and hoped these could be maintained in the future.
He said palm oil has a significant effect on national interest, as tens of millions of Indonesian people rely on it for their livelihood.
"I want my friends in the EU to really understand it," he said.
He said the Indonesian government will challenge the discriminatory policy as part of efforts to defend the Indonesian people's interests.
The European Commission has reportedly issued a Delegated Regulation Supplementing Directive 2018/2001 of the EU Renewable Energy Directive II. The draft will scrap palm oil from EU's biofuel sector in favor of other vegetable oils.
Earlier, the European Commission had also adopted the Final Delegated Regulation no C (2019) 2055 concerning High and Low ILUC Risk Criteria on biofuels on March 13, 2019.
Amid rising global economic uncertainty, Indonesia recorded a trade deficit of US$8.57 billion in 2018. It was the highest ever recorded by the agency.
Indonesian exports reached US$180.06 billion in 2018. The number increased by 6.65 percent compared to 2017.
Indonesian non-oil and gas exports reached US$162.65 billion last year. The number increased by 6.25 percent compared to the previous year. (Antara)