BANGKOK,(NNT) – Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has instructed the Ministry of Commerce to study the pros and cons of joining the federation of palm oil producing nations set up by Malaysia and Indonesia.
According to the Ministry of Commerce, Gen Prayut was invited by Malaysian and Indonesian leaders to join the federation during his participation in the recent ASEAN Summit. The premier has yet to accept the invitation but has directed the Ministry of Commerce to conduct a study on whether becoming a member would benefit Thailand.
It is believed that the two countries are looking for support from Thailand to strengthen opposition to the European Union’s resolution, which was endorsed on April 4th, to phase out imports of palm oil from Malaysia and Indonesia within 20 years.
The European Parliament made a decision to curb the use of palm oil from the two nations given that the production of palm oil has led to deforestation in their countries. Malaysia and Indonesia have also tried to persuade the rest of the ASEAN community to follow suit as the resolution could potentially damage the palm oil industry.
The Department of Internal Trade will discuss the matter with the Department of International Trade Promotion, the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives and the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment before making any decisions.
The EU resolution however, has no impact on Thailand since most its Thai palm oil products are exported elsewhere.
Thailand is the world’s 3rd largest palm oil exporter.