Illustrative image (Source: AFP/Getty Images)

Jakarta (VNA) – The international trade negotiation director general of Indonesia’s Trade Ministry, Iman Pambagyo, has denied rumours that Indonesia will freeze negotiations on the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with the European Union (EU) due to a recent palm oil resolution issued by the EU parliament.

According to the Jakarta Post on May 4, Iman Pambagyo affirmed that there is no such plan as Indonesia wants to bring that CPO (crude palm oil) issue into the context of trade and sustainable development under the CEPA platform.

On April 4, the EU parliament issued a resolution to only import sustainable oil palm products after 2020. The resolution also called for a single sustainability standard despite Indonesia already having its own sustainable palm oil standard.

The resolution sparked controversy and disappointment among Indonesian stakeholders. Local businesspeople grouped under the National Palm Oil Board of Indonesia even asked the government to pause CEPA negotiations.

Meanwhile, the Indonesian Trade Ministry stated that the CEPA has an important role to boost trade, services, investment and sustainable development between Indonesia and the EU.

Total trade between Indonesia and the EU is considered small, at just 25.1 billion USD, according to TradeMap.-VNA