Phnom Penh (FN), Dec. 26 – Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen expressed his concern over EU’s banning on Indonesia-Malaysia palm oil, saying the issue is on-going and will not end easily.

His statement was made at the graduation ceremony of the National University of Law and Economics (RULE) on Thursday.

Asia's two dominant palm oil producers – Indonesia and Malaysia – are threatened by European Union to stop its imports on Indonesian and Malaysian palm oil for transport fuels by 2030, citing excessive deforestation.

Prime Minister Hun Sen took note of a number of published articles citing retaliations from Indonesia and Malaysia in response to EU’s measures over palm oil imports.

“Considering the EU’s move as [unfair discrimination against palm oil], the Malaysian government wrote to all the Heads of Governments of the EU to inform them that if the EU continued such discrimination, Malaysia would retaliate by boycotting certain European products," Sim Vireak, strategic advisor to the Asian Vision Institute wrote in a Comparative Study of Non-Tariff Measures Imposed by the EU on ASEAN Member States: cases of Malaysia, Thailand and Cambodia, published on 24 December 2019.

He continued that, “Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed has written to French President Emmanuel Macron, saying that Malaysia would consider making law to restrict imports of French products if Paris does not withdraw plans to curb the use of palm oil in biofuel. In the letter to Macron dated 8 January 2019, Mahathir called on the French leader to reject the proposed ban on palm oil in biofuel, and he added that the trade relationship between the two countries depended on mutual respect for each other’s commodities.”

According to the European Commission, the EU's biodiesel market worth around 9 billion euros annually imports from Indonesia worth around 400 million euros. Last year, the block consumed more than seven million tonnes of palm oil, 65 percent of its total energy consumption.