Malaysia draws battles lines with EU over palm oil, focusing on public relations blitz



Tashny Sukumaran | South China Morning Post

Even as Malaysia struggles to contain a pandemic that has wrought significant damage on its economy, it now faces a potentially greater fiscal challenge: defending its main cash crop the oil palm – against European Union efforts to stifle the consumption of palm oil-based biofuels.

But in order to win the battle and safeguard its status as the world’s second-largest producer of palm oil, Malaysia must first make a more persuasive argument for its continued use as a sustainable product, which analysts said it could do by clearing up misperceptions surrounding the industry and opting for a more forward-looking public relations strategy.

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