BAGAN DATUK: The government will review its trade with the European Union (EU) that has proposed to remove palm oil from its biofuels mix after 2020, said Datuk Seri Dr Ahmah Zahid Hamidi.
The Deputy Prime Minister said EU's move would have an impact and affect the incomes of over 500,000 palm oil farmers in the country.
"During last week cabinet meeting which was chaired by the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, the government decided that it will review the purchase of products with any countries that banned palm oil.
"They have done various marketing strategy so that we buy their products, but they do not want to buy our products. Malaysia is not a country that can be belittled," he said, during his speech at the launch of Hello Commodity Bagan Datuk programme at Dewan Datuk Mohamed Jamrah today.
Also present were Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities Malaysia Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong and Rungkup assemblyman Datuk Shahrul Zaman Yahya, who is also the state human resources committee chairman.
Zahid said between January and November last year, commodity-based export stood at RM129.1 billion or 15.1 per cent of the country's export incomes.
Of the total, he said 55.4 per cent or RM71.5 billion was contributed by palm oil sector.
Zahid said the ban could be considered as a discrimination that would affect the demand for palm oil, country biggest commodity-based export contributors.
"The commodity sector is the backbone as it not only increases the country's revenue but is also one of the people's economic activities.
"As such, the government will take necessary steps to guarantee the future of the country's palm oil sector," he said.
He was commenting on the resolution by the EU Parliament on Jan 17 through the Renewable Energy Directive which requires that only sustainably-produced palm oil can imported into the EU market after 2020.