Illustrative image (Source: awareenvironmental.com.au)

Kuala Lumpur (VNA) – Malaysia and Indonesia are considering the export restriction against palm oil to the European Union seriously and ready to take joint action to counter the discrimination.

Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak and Indonesia's President Joko Widodo raised the matter during the ASEAN-EU Summit in the framework of the freshly-ended 31st ASEAN Summit, which was also attended by President of the European Council Donald Tusk.

Bernama news agency on November 14 quoted Najib as saying that the discrimination will affect the palm oil industry, threaten the income, welfare and livelihood of 600,000 smallholders in Malaysia and 17.5 million others in Indonesia.

Najib highlighted the issue to Tusk, describing it as ‘very serious’. The European Council President affirmed to look into the matter.

Asked if Malaysia and Indonesia would take counter action if the EU remained adamant on the matter, Najib said he would raise the matter with Jokowi during the annual consultation to be held in Kuching on November 22.

He suggested Malaysia and Indonesia cooperate closely in this issue as they together account for 82 percent of global palm oil output with combined value of over 13.6 billion USD

The European Parliament adopted a resolution in April that only environmentally sustainable palm oil can be imported into the European Union after 2020.

It called for a single certified sustainable palm oil scheme for Europe-bound palm oil exports to make sure that the oil was produced using environmentally sustainable methods and prevented deforestation.

The resolution said the current certification scheme was flawed and did not meet internationally accepted standards on sustainability.-VNA