The Jakarta Post
Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita has stressed that crude palm oil (CPO) is a very important commodity for Indonesia, as important as Boeing is for the United States.
Enggartiasto was speaking when opening the Indonesian Palm Oil Forum at the Indonesian Embassy in Washington, DC, recently. “Promoting CPO is one of special focuses in our visit to the US,” said the minister as quoted in a statement on Monday.
Enggartiasto stressed the importance of partnership with other countries to boost both trade and investment amid global economic uncertainty.
He said dialogue among business players in various global forums, particularly on CPO, was important to promote the commodity, which had contributed to developing the country’s economy, including in eradicating poverty.
The minister explained that CPO had been developed since the late 1990s and in the period between 2001 and 2010, CPO had helped 10 million poor people improve their living standards with income increases.
He said the sector had created jobs for some 5.5 million people and had become an income source for about 21 million other people in related industries.
“Indonesia relies on the commodity. It has contributed to the construction of school buildings and hospitals as well as developed cultural, religious and sports facilities in areas close to oil palm plantations,” the minister added.
As the largest CPO-producing country, Indonesia produced 35.36 million metric tons in 2017, with total value of US$22.8 billion. (bbn)