2016-03-21

Chamber of commerce chief issues strong warning against boycott of Indonesian palm oil


NUSA DUA, BALI (foresthints.news) - The Indonesian palm oil sector is facing a set of parallel challenges. On the one hand, Indonesia is the world's largest palm oil producer and this sector is crucial to the welfare of at least 14 million of the country's people. On the other hand, the Indonesian palm oil sector is under constant pressure to operate in certain ways, in line with concerns about climate change issues.

This notwithstanding, international stakeholders can surely see that the Indonesian palm oil sector is now on the right path and deserves recognition for this. This would be much more constructive than imposing boycotts on palm oil in various guises, such as France's progressive taxation policy. This is the view of a leading Indonesian business figure.

“The Indonesian palm oil sector is heading in the right direction. What I mean by this is that the sector is seeing a lot of good developments, especially when it comes to addressing climate change issues,” Chief of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce, Rosan P. Roeslani, told foresthints.news after the opening of the ICOPE event on Wednesday (Mar 16) in Nusa Dua, Bali.

With respect to the imposition of a progressive tax on palm oil in France, the chief expressed his regret over the move.

“We really have to fight against this. The imposition of a progressive tax is definitely not a solution. We need to be resolute in our opposition to this policy,” he stressed.

According to Rosan, if there are still perceived to be problems with the Indonesian palm oil sector, these should be discussed amicably through a forum in which the participants sit down together and look for the right solutions - not by making unilateral decisions that impede the sale of Indonesian palm oil on the international market.

“The international community should be fair in the way it deals with the Indonesian palm oil sector. This means it should stay away from what effectively amounts to a boycott on Indonesian palm oil. That is no kind of solution,” Rosan urged.

On a related note, CIRAD, the French agricultural research organization, told foresthints.news (Mar 16) that the imposition of higher taxes on palm oil - as is to be done in France - is the wrong move.

According to CIRAD, what is instead required is a certification system which guarantees that sustainable practices were used in the production of palm oil. CIRAD stressed that with such a system, there would be no need or justification for imposing any extra taxes on certified sustainable palm oil.