WTO Public Forum: CPOPC, The Mission and Reality
CPOPC seeks to appear at the global stage by participating in global forum. On late September 2017, CPOPC Executive Director, Mahendra Siregar, delivered remarks at World Trade Organization Public Forum (WTO PF) in Geneva, Switzerland. Mr Mahendra highlighted ‘’the end’’ of free trade and the need for countries to find mutual interests.
WTO PF is a strategic annual event usually attended by around 1.500 participants, ranging from world leaders and parliament members, global businessmen, distinguished academicians, and NGOs. The 26-28 September 2017 WTO PF was themed ‘’Trade Behind the Headlines’’.
At the session one of Room S2 of WTO PF, Executive Director of CPOPC presented a speech entitled ‘’CPOPC, The Mission and Reality’’, maintaining a way out of possible collision course between developed and developing nations; between palm oil producers and importers.
As a result of slowing down of global economic and trade growth, developed nations have applied more nationalistic policies and politics, indicating global sentiment against international trade.
Such global sentiment is obvious towards palm oil sector, as there are increasingly restrictive policies over palm oil products sponsored by developed countries. The drift is that wherever developing countries have a comparative advantage, trade restrictions are inevitable. ‘’This is very much akin to the beggar-thy-neighbor policies of the past, but on a truly global scale,’’ Mr Mahendra said.
While the protectionist policies of importing countries continue to increase, palm oil exports continue to grow, solely due to competitiveness of this commodity. The likelihood is that the policies and politics of the palm oil producers will strenuously defend this commodity for their economy. ”The slower global economic growth forces countries to be more competitive in sectors that are critical to their livelihood,” said Mahendra.
Would this mean that all countries are heading toward collusion courses?
Executive Director of CPOPC maintains that all stakeholders should seek out the many areas of mutual interest that exist in the global economy. One of the most important is to alleviate poverty and grow jobs together.
In the case of the palm oil producing countries, CPOPC focuses on 6 programs to promote the real sustainable development interest of the members. ‘’Within these 6 sectors, CPOC would welcome the involvement of governments and stakeholders wherever this is possible and meaningful, especially in promoting mutual interests,’’ Mahendra said.
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