Indonesia, Malaysia agree to cooperate on palm oil development

Padang (Antara News) - Some Indonesian and Malaysian palm oil businessmen were reported to have reached an agreement to overcome problems which may hamper palm oil development in the world.

"The objective of the cooperation is to minimize and if possible, to eliminate all kind of obstacles that may hinder the two countries` efforts to make palm oil as the foundation of their main export," Chairman of the Combined Indonesian Palm oil Producers (Gapki) Deron Bangun said as contacted from Padang.

According to him, a serious attention was badly needed to develop palm oil and therefore the issue was also raised in a meeting between President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and US President George W. Bush who reportedly also gave a positive response to efforts being made to develop biodiesel energy with Crude palm oil (CPO) as its raw material.

At present, the demand and the production of CPO are also balanced, while CPO market keeps on undergoing a slowdown in its growth. Hence a certain policy designed to revive the growth of this export commodity is also needed.

Some businessmen, he said, are planning to build a biodiesel factory to create new market for the Indonesian and Malaysian palm oil products which have so far been dominating the world export.

Malaysia, he said, was attempting to forge cooperation in this field in a bid to reduce some issues alleged to have discouraged some palm oil businessmen.

One of the issues concerned has to do with land-burning which has so far caused `haze`, the population of orang utan (certain primates) to decline as complained by activists of non governmental organizations and the CPO prices to decline.

This cooperation, he added, was also discussed in a bilateral meeting between President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in Bukittinggi, West Sumatra, recently.

The Malaysian government has reportedly allocated a sum of money amounting to 20 million ringgit to help the development of research and safety of orang utan.

In addition, an exchange of technlogical information in the handling of palm oil-related problems in their respective region was made, so that this export commodity would be more required on the world market. (*)
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