On May 16, 2022, the International Institute for Trade and Development (Public Organization) in partnership with the World Trade Institute (WTI), University of Bern, the Institute of Malaysian and International Studies (IKMAS), the National University of Malaysia (UKM), cohosted the International Conference on “Sustainability and Responsibility Transforming the Palm Oil Industry in Post-COVID-19 Era Forum” at the World Trade Institute (WTI), in Bern, Switzerland.
The Forum was divided into 3 sessions, Palm Oil and Sustainability: Taking Stock, Trade Agreements and other Regulatory Initiatives, and Ways forward. In the second session of the Forum, Trade Agreements and other Regulatory Initiatives, Mr. Manu Sithiprasasana, Executive Director of International Institute for Trade and Development, was invited to be a panelist together with Ambassador Markus Schlagenhof, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), Switzerland, Dr. Ahmad Parveez Ghulam Kadir, Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB), Dr. Ruslan Abdullah, Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC), Wan Aishah Wan Hamid, Malaysia Palm Oil Council (MPOC) and Mr. Filip Deraedt, Deputy Head of Unit (South and South East Asia, Australia, New Zealand), DG Trade European Commission , to give perspectives on current developments and challenges in designing trade agreements in view of addressing sustainability concerns related to the palm oil production and trade. In addition, this session also aims to create not only a better understanding and awareness but also limits of regulating palm oil through trade agreements and how the governments react to societal demands.
The Forum brings together regulators, government representatives of the Southeast Asian economies representative from global and regional organizations; palm oil producers and globally operating firms; trade and business associations; sustainability certification bodies; academic institutions, and experts; as well as NGOs, to reflect the everyday realities – challenges and opportunities, in all its facets from a sustainable development perspective, and to provide a critical but constructive avenue to exchange views and aspirations towards a sustainable future for palm oil industry.
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