The Swiss government has allocated grant funding of $65 million to Indonesia, some of which will also go towards improving the sustainability of palm oil production, a report said.
The funding, to be made over a period of four years (2021 -2024,) will focus on promoting “inclusive and sustainable development,” the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) announced on Thursday (25/2) as reported by swissinfo.ch, the international unit of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC.)
“The Swiss technical assistance will work in areas like skills development, decent work, tourism, urban development, as well as sustainability, including in commodity sectors such as palm oil,” said an official statement.
The new round of funding will focus on strengthening public governance in urban areas and improving competitiveness of small- and medium-sized enterprises.
Reservations about the sustainability of palm oil from Indonesia has blocked the ratification of a free trade deal, the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement or CEPA, with Switzerland.
On March 7, Swiss citizens will vote on whether they want the free trade deal to go ahead in a referendum initiated by a pressure group called “Stop Palm Oil”.
“The Indonesian Government recognizes the need to strengthen the environmental and social sustainability of palm oil production in line with its commitments under the CEPA. Under the new Cooperation Program, SECO will remain committed to support these efforts,” said SECO.
Indonesia is the world’s top palm oil producer, exporter and consumer. It supplies about half of the global palm oil supply. Palm oil is a major earner for Indonesia and also provide a source of livelihood for millions in the country.