BPDPKS Stresses the Need for Preparation for Pre-Litigation in WTO

JAKARTA--President Director of the Indonesia Oil Palm Plantation Fund Management Agency (BPDPKS) Dono Boestami stressed the need for the Government and businesspeople to prepare for litigation in WTO over palm oil discrimination by the European Union (EU).

BPDPKS Stresses the Need for Preparation for Pre-Litigation in WTO

Preparation has to be made in conjunction with the diplomacy. Preparations are deemed necessary as the government has only two months before the European Parliament and the Council make up their mind to formulate any objections on the delegated act. If they do not, the delegated act enters into force.

“Preparations to the WTO have to be made early.  We have to decide who will represent us in WTO, a lawyer appointed by the government or businesspeople.  Diplomacy is important as well as the preparation to go the the WTO,” Dono said in Economic Challenges-themed talk show in Metro TV, Monday (25/3/2019).

The talk show also had the presence of several speakers: The Indonesian Ambassador to Belgium concurrently the EU and Luxembourg Yuri Octavian Thamrin, Deputy Minister for Food and Agriculture, Coordinating Ministry of Economic Affairs Musdalifah Machmud, and Chairman of Indonesian Palm Oil Association (Gapki) Joko Supriyono.

As reported earlier, on 13 March 2019, European Commission adopted the Delegated Regulation no. C (2019) 2055 Final on High and Low ILUC Risk Criteria on biofuels. Once the Commission has adopted the act, Parliament and Council generally have two months to formulate any objections. If they do not, the delegated act enters into force.

The draft Delegated Regulation classifies palm oil as unsustainable high-risk ILUC (Indirect Land Use Change) vegetable oil. The Government has consistently outlined the facts that the delegated act is based on inaccurate and discriminatory factors, breaches WTO rules.

According to Yuri, Parliament and Council are likely to accept the delegated act. However, the Government will do the best towards negotiation and arbitration to find win-win solution. Musdalifah has the same opinion with Yuri, saying that the Government has urged European businesspeople in Indonsia to support the government’s effort.

“We had engaged in a coordinated effort with ministers, shareholders, and businesspeople. We also had involved European multinational firms in Indonesia to work with the Government on this issue,” she added. Speaking at the same event, Joko Supriyono said that palm oil is important commodity for Indonesia.

The Government had worked hard and coordinated with businesspeople on this issue. “I appreciate and respect what the Government’s has done on this issue to collaborate with business institutions. Palm oil is the interest of Indonesia, it is a matter of life and death of people in Indonesia,” Joko added. ***