New Sarawak Tribune (27/01/2019) - KUALA LUMPUR: Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah and his counterparts from several European Union (EU) member states, as well as EU parliamentarians dwelled into Malaysia-EU bilateral matters during his working visit to Brussels recently.
Saifuddin held separate meetings with foreign ministers from Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Romania, Spain, and the EU, as well as the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs and its two vice-presidents during his working visit to attend the 22nd Asean-EU Ministerial Meeting from Jan 21-23.
“At the top of Malaysia’s agenda was the palm oil issue. The minister underlined the country’s commitment to sustainable production of palm oil and sought endorsement for the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification scheme.
“He called on the EU and its member states to facilitate Malaysia’s development of sustainable palm oil, including disseminating accurate information and giving fair treatment to palm oil, stressing that free trade should also be a fair one,” Wisma Putra said in a statement.
The foreign minister reiterated that the Malaysian oil palm industry is dedicated to enhancing productivity and yields, rather than opening up new oil palm plantations, as claimed by some quarters in Europe.
He underscored MSPO’s compliance with the UN Sustainable Development Goals which considers environmental, social and economic aspects comprehensively.
Saifuddin reiterated that Malaysia’s ongoing cooperation with internationally recognised certification bodies such as the International Sustainability Carbon Certification is a testimony that the MSPO implementation is an integrative, rather than a stand-alone pursuit.
Wisma Putra commended Italy for signing the Amsterdam Declarations Partnership in 2017, through which the signatories declared support for sustainable palm oil in Europe.- Bernama
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