Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita said he always pushes for crude palm oil agreement in his trade negotiations with other countries including in the Indonesia-European Free Trade Association (IEFTA) and Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IE-CEPA).
“In every trade talk we give priority to CPO agreement,” Lukita told participants at the 14th Indonesia Palm Oil Conference (IPOC) & 2019 Price Outlook, here on Thursday.
At the international conference attended by business players, academicians, observers, and representatives of farmers, the Minister said palm oil industry plays an important role in the country`s economic development including in the creation of jobs and elimination of poverty.
“From upstream to downstream, palm oil industry contributed 13.7 percent to Indonesia`s export earning of US$168.8 billion in 2017,” he said.
In the IEFTA with Switzerland , one of the priorities is palm oil, he said.
The Minister, however, did not answer when asked about the export target for CPO and derivatives if the agreement is signed expected this month.
IEFTA-CEPA is a trade agreement yet to be reached between Indonesia and four European countries – Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. Indonesia has pushed hard for immediate signing of the agreement.
The Minister, however, reminded the Indonesian palm oil producers to observe the demand of world`s consumers for healthy, safe and environmentally friendly products.
“We have to prove that our palm oil could contribute to the United Nations` goal of sustainable development,” he said.
Palm oil – CPO and derivatives – is the country`s largest export earner outside oil and gas sector. Indonesia is the world`s largest producer and exporter of CPO.