BANTING, Feb 26 (NNN-BERNAMA) — Neither the Norwegian government nor its parliament has made any proposition to ban palm oil, said the country’s Trade and Industry Minister Torbjørn Røe Isaksen.
“When it comes to palm oil specifically, it’s been very interesting to hear how (the Malaysian) government and business system are working so systematically to develop standards for sustainability in order to create both better value and an even better product made in a sustainable manner.”
On recent talks that there were plans for Norway to ban palm oil, the minister said they were mere rumours . “There has never been a proposition either from the Norwegian government or the Norwegian parliament to ban palm oil,” he told a media conference on Monday following his visit to Sime Darby’s West Estate on Carey Island.
Isaksen and his delegation arrived in Malaysia on Monday and paid a courtesy call on Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok Suh Sim before visiting the estate and oil palm mill there, accompanied by Norwegian Ambassador to Malaysia, Gunn Jorid Roset.
Isaksen said during this visit, there was a lot of information-sharing between the two countries on the oil palm industry and its importance to the Malaysian economy, as well as on the government’s effort to create a sustainable palm oil industry.
Meanwhile, Kok said Isaksen’s visit could strengthen trade relations between Malaysia and Norway, especially with regard to palm oil.
“I am happy with the visit from the Norwegian delegation and hope it will set an example to other European countries to collaborate with Malaysia in developing the smallholders in compliance with environmental good practice,” she said.
Kok also disclosed that Isaksen brought with him a letter from Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg in response to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s letter to her on Malaysia’s stand following the Norwegian parliament’s voting in December last year to ban palm biodiesel.
Asked whether the letter’s content was positive, Kok said: “I have not read it yet. Let the PM read it.”