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France supports Malaysia's sustainable palm oil, says minister


The French government will help Malaysia promote the country’s sustainable palm oil products by providing scientific findings of the products to its people.

French Minister of State to the Minister of Economy and Finance, Agnes Pannier-Runacher, said palm oil or other produce that went through credible and sustainable efforts in line with international standards should receive equal support from consumers.

"We believe sustainable approaches to producing palm oil is a positive trend in Malaysia and we support any initiatives to go further.

"We need scientific approaches as people (in France nowadays) are more concerned about the products they consume in terms of its sustainability. They sometimes do get confused with what is sustainable and what is not," she told reporters after visiting the Air Liquide's Smart Innovative Operations Centre in Kuala Lumpur today.

Asked on the French government’s decision to ban palm oil biofuel, she said it was not mainly targeted palm oil but the use of diesel.

"Currently, we are already limiting the number of cars with diesel, and some authorities are banning diesel cars in our cities," she said.

Earlier this year, the French National Assembly passed a bill saying palm oil “is not a biofuel” and would not be eligible for tax breaks as of Jan 1, 2020.

Meanwhile, Pannier-Runacher believed Malaysia and France could develop many products in the aeronautics, defence and cars sectors, given that France is a leader in the Industry 4.0 in advanced manufacturing.

“This cooperation includes technology transfer as well,” she added.

Pannier-Runacher also invited Malaysian investors to invest in France, mainly in research and development.

- Bernama

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