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Indonesia President Joko vows to fight EU palm oil rules

  • i2Matrix
  • 15 July 2019
 
JAKARTA (AFP) - Indonesia's President Joko Widodo promised on Friday (July 12) to fight the European Union over plans to restrict the use of palm oil in biofuels. 
 
Brussels wants to limit the materials that can be used in fuel that is counted towards its renewable energy targets. 
 
It has set a 2030 limit for phasing out palm oil, which environmentalists say drives deforestation and climate change. 
 
But the plans have angered big palm oil-producing nations like Indonesia and Malaysia, whose economies are dependent on the commodity. 
 
In an interview with Bloomberg News published on Friday, Mr Joko said he was determined to get the EU to change its rules. 
 
"For me, if there is discrimination like that, I will fight because of the 16 million farmers and workers in this business," he said. "Palm oil is a strategic commodity for Indonesia." 
 
Palm oil and its associated industries contribute roughly 4 per cent to Indonesia's GDP and provide a livelihood for 6 per cent of the population. 
 
Jakarta last year earned US$17.8 billion (S$24.21 billion) from exports of the oil, which is used in a wide range of products from food to cosmetics. 
 
Palm oil company shares have dropped 9 per cent this year because of worries over the restrictions. 
 
Both Indonesia and Malaysia - who together produce about 85 per cent of the world's palm oil - have previously warned they will retaliate. 
 
The President - popularly known as Jokowi - insisted that after his landslide election win in April, he had the mandate to take bold actions to bolster Indonesia's economy. 
 
He said steps would include lowering corporate taxes, easing labour laws, and lifting restrictions on foreign ownership. 
 
"I know better the problems," he said. "Because this is my last term, so I have no burden. I have nothing to lose." 
 
-- AFP
 
 
 
 
 
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Benny Lee

Founder of i2Matrix. A market strategist, private trader and sought-after financial speaker and trainer in the Asian Region, Benny Lee has coached hundreds of professional and retails traders and investors in Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Vietnam, Pakistan for more than 13 years. His passion in trading and chart analysis leads him to develop trading strategies that have helped him and many others to trade and invest successfully in the financial markets.

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