Indonesia urged to resolve palm oil issue through diplomacy: economist

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia is suggested to resolve the European Union's ban on the use of crude palm oil for biofuels through the foreign ministry's diplomatic approaches, Faisal Basri, senior economist of the Institute for Development of Economics and Finance (Indef), said.

"So, let the resolution to this problem be given to Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi because this issue is related to interstate negotiations," he said in Jakarta on Thursday in response to the EU's ban on Indonesia's palm oil commodity.

Faisal Basri argued that as a diplomat with excellent reputation, Retno Marsudi's personality traits would positively affect the negotiation processes. Hence, solving this palm oil issue needs to be carried out only through the Indonesian Foreign Ministry.

If this diplomatic approach was adopted by Indonesia, other cabinet members, including Coordinating Minister for Economy Darmin Nasution and Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, should not comment on the issue, he said.

Basri further opined that a necessary measure that Indonesia needs to take is not a retaliation to stop importing certain products from the European Union member countries because Indonesia will also suffer from it, he said.

As revealed by media reports, the European Parliament had recently decided to ban the use of palm oil commodity in motor fuels from 2021 as it was considered as unfriendly to the environment.

Vice President Jusuf Kalla has warned the European Union not to impose a discriminatory policy on Indonesian crude palm oil and its derivative products by banning the product for biofuels in the region.

"Do not discriminate against (our palm oil products), because we can also take the same policy. We warn Europe that we are one of their biggest buyers of Airbus for instance by Garuda, Lion Air, and others," Kalla said last year.

He reiterated that Indonesia could stop imports from European countries if the ban on crude palm oil as motor fuel would be continued.

Source: ANTARA News

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