YOGYAKARTA, 6 MAY, 2010 – The Fifth Joint Committee Meeting on Bilateral Cooperation in Commodities between The Government of Republic of Indonesia and the Government of Malaysia was held in Yogyakarta, Indonesia on 6 May 2010. The Indonesian delegation was led by H.E. Suswono, Minister of Agriculture, Indonesia and the Malaysian delegation was led by H.E. Tan Sri Bernard Dompok, Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities.
The meeting considered progress made in cooperation activities in the areas of Palm Oil, Cocoa and Pepper.
The meeting agreed on the following:
Cooperation in Palm Oil
Both countries agreed to seek legal opinion on the inconsistencies of the European Union Directive on Renewable Energy under the World Trade Organisation (WTO) framework. This is to ensure that palm oil used for biofuel purposes is not disadvantaged by unfair standards and requirements;
Both countries took note the concerns on the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) final rule on Renewable Fuel Standard 2 (RFS2) on 26 March 2010. Among others, RFS2 considers Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC) as part of the criteria for the import and use of biofuel in the US. As such, it was agreed for a Joint Ministerial Mission to the United States from 15 to 17 November 2010, to meet and discuss with the appropriate agencies including U.S. Senators;
On the proposed labelling of palm oil in food products being considered by the Australian Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs, both countries agreed to engage this Committee by providing data on the nutritional benefits of palm oil. The meeting was of the view that labelling of palm oil may have negative repercusions from the context of sustainability. In addition, both countries will continue to monitor the developments in this issue including the possibility of sending a technical mission, and if necessary, a Joint Ministerial Mission;
Undertake germplasm exploration in Angola through joint collaboration activities. In this context, Malaysian Palm Oil Board and Directorate General of Estate Crops (DGE) have signed the Memorandum of Understanding on Thursday, 6 May 2010;
To further promote palm oil collaboration, both countries agreed to organise the following seminars in 2010:
Joint Investment Promotion Seminar in Jakarta, 1st July 2010; and 2nd Seminar on Ganoderma in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, 31st May 2010.
The Ministers also noted concerns on the lack of market demand and premium for Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certified palm oil despite attempts by producing countries to supply sustainable palm oil. In this context, they also noted their concern on the inclusion of new criteria under the RSPO process which may disadvantage producing countries.
The Ministers agreed to the establishment of a Task Force comprising of officials from Malaysia and Indonesia to address negative publicity which may impact exports of palm oil products. In this context, both countries to provide funding to finance these activities in both the print and electronic media. In case programmes are undertaken jointly, the cost shall be shared by both countries on an equal basis. The Terms of Reference of this Task Force to be decided by Senior Officials and this Task Force to report the outcome of action taken to the Ministers on a regular basis.
The Ministers also agreed that both countries undertake research activities related to sustainable production and benefits of palm oil. This research to be funded by the respective country and the results to be shared with each other.
Cooperation in Cocoa
Malaysia and Indonesia to undertake training for trainers on grading of cocoa beans; and
Both countries to continue monitoring Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) on pesticide residue in cocoa beans independently and the outcome to be reported at the next meeting of the Sub Working Group on Cocoa (SWGC).
Cooperation in Pepper
Agreed to exchange information on a weekly basis farmgate prices. In addition, to exchange information on a monthly basis free on board (FOB) prices and export quantity;
Indonesia to provide Malaysia on information relating to organic farming, especially agricultural practices;
Malaysia and Indonesia to further pursue the issue on the definition of adulteration and inclusion of pinheads (small immature pepper berries) as an adulterant in black pepper with American Spice Trade Association (ASTA) during the upcoming International Pepper Community (IPC) meeting in India, November 2010; and
Indonesia extended its invitation to Malaysia to participate at the AGRO FOOD EXPO scheduled in 2010, Jakarta. Similarly, Malaysia extended invitation to participate in the Malaysia International Conference and Commodities Showcase (MICCOS) in year 2011.
Malaysia and Indonesia agreed to accelerate formalisation of Jatropha cooperation between Malaysia and Indonesia. The MoU to be amended based on the provision under Article XII of the MoU to include jatropha.