Thailand Ready to Team Up with Indonesia and Malaysia to Fight EUDR

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Illustration of oil palm plantation. Photo by: Sawit Fest 2021 / Farid Yuwono

PALMOILMAGAZINE, JAKARTA – The European Union (EU) has unveiled the European Union Deforestation Regulation slated for late 2024, sparking objections from Indonesia and Malaysia, the world’s top palm oil producers. Both nations express concern that the new environmental regulation could adversely impact smallholders who significantly contribute to their agricultural exports to the EU.

In response, Indonesia and Malaysia have formed a coalition with other Southeast Asian countries to bolster their stance in the dispute. Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim of Malaysia recently gained support from Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin of Thailand, who expressed readiness to collaborate with Malaysia and Indonesia. However, there is apprehension about the potential involvement of additional countries in the conflict.

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Indonesia and Malaysia contributed 85% of palm oil production in the globe. The two countries thought that EUDR is a discrimination. They thought that the regulation would deliver unfair impacts for smallholders because they would be difficult to qualify EUDR. The two countries proposed complaint to World Trade Organization (WTO), got support to review EUDR.

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EUDR would cover import ban for some products, such as, cattle, cocoa, coffee, palm oil, rubber, soybean, and wood products that derived from areas in deforestation since 31 December 2020.

As quoted from DW, Thailand as the third palm oil producer in the world would get the impact from EUDR. Thought the country would join Indonesia and Malaysia, one official from Thailand indicated the impossibility namely because Thailand planned to negotiate free trade – agreement with EU.

Meanwhile the officials in European Commission mentioned that the continent would escalate the commitment to implement the new regulation effectively. The new initiative that has something to do with the issues, should be launched in the 28th United Nations conference about climate change (Conference of Parties 28) in the United Arab Emirates on Thursday (30/11/2023). (T2)

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