Malaysian PM urges Britain to ‘break with Europe’ on palm oil: Bloomberg


(Reuters) – Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Monday called on Britain to engage with palm growers to incentivise sustainable production, rather than pursuing boycotts after its scheduled exit from the (EU) on Oct. 31.

Mahathir’s comments, carried in on opinion column for news agency Bloomberg, follow a move by the EU to phase out palm oil usage in biofuels. Top growers and have said they would file a complaint to the World Trade Organization to challenge the move.

“A fresh attitude toward palm oil, unencumbered by influential special-interest groups, could lead to even better trade terms between the U.K. and the (Southeast ) region than it currently enjoys,” Mahathir wrote in a column carried on Bloomberg’s terminals and website.

“We hope to avoid a trade war with ,” he wrote. “But if one transpires, that doesn’t mean the U.K. has to get caught in the crossfire.”

Article continues below Advertisement...

In March, the European Commission had determined that palm oil cultivation had resulted in excessive deforestation and it should no longer be considered a renewable transport fuel, albeit with some exemptions.

While Mahathir acknowledged the importance of environmental sustainability and deforestation in trade talks, he said, “The answer is not to single out one commodity and ban it” and called the EU’s move “a form of modern colonialism that has no place in today’s world”.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, ) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the , it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.