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Ashburn Wednesday 27 Sep 2023
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UK Commits to Recognize Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil Certification, Boosting Trade Opportunities

By Asim Khan
UK Commits to Recognize Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil Certification, Boosting Trade Opportunities
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof'. Image Credit: Bernama
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof’s official visit to the United Kingdom resulted in a significant development for Malaysia’s palm oil industry. The UK policymakers expressed their commitment to recognize the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification in the country’s due diligence guidelines for ensuring sustainable commodities. This positive response was received during Fadillah’s meetings with Minister of State for International Trade Nigel Huddleston and Minister of State for International Development Andrew Mitchell.

Strengthening Trade Relations

Fadillah highlighted that the UK’s recognition of the MSPO certification is excellent news for Malaysia. Although awaiting written confirmation, the initial statement opens up opportunities for stronger business ties between Malaysia and the UK. The impending accession of the UK to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), where Malaysia is a member, further enhances the trade prospects between the two nations.
(Read Also: US Defense Secretary Criticizes China’s Refusal for Military Talks, Stalling Progress on Taiwan and South China Sea Disputes)

Challenges in the European Union

While progress was made during Fadillah’s visit to the UK, challenges persist in Malaysia’s dealings with the European Union (EU). Fadillah’s joint mission with Indonesian officials to Brussels, Belgium, aimed to address concerns over the newly legislated EU Deforestation Regulation (EUDR). While the meetings were conducted in a cordial manner, Malaysia needs to prepare for potential laws and regulations to be introduced by the EU, such as the EU Renewable Energy Directive III (EU RED III) and the proposed Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive.
(Read Also: Regional Powers Highlight FPDA Pact as Key to Maintaining Balance Amid Ongoing Tensions)

Engaging with the EU

Engagement with the EU remains crucial for Malaysia and Indonesia. The joint mission successfully conveyed concerns and objections, and the EU expressed openness to further dialogue. The Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries (CPOPC) proposed a task force involving all stakeholders, emphasizing the need for ongoing engagement and follow-up to address the raised points. Malaysia and Indonesia, as major contributors to global palm oil exports, continue to advocate for fair treatment and the recognition of sustainable practices.

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