France’s New Foreign Minister: a Friend of Malaysia
The announcement that Jean-Marc Ayrault, an eminent former French Prime Minister, will be the Government’s new Foreign Minister, will surely be greeted as good news for Malaysian palm oil farmers and the wider sector.
In 2013, then-PM Ayrault travelled to Malaysia for a successful visit, including a keynote speech which included the promise that “palm oil will not be taxed” in France.
Mr Ayrault’s return to Government has come at just the right time. The French Senate has proposed massive discrimination against palm oil through a new punitive tax only on palm oil.
As Foreign Minister, Mr Ayrault’s focus will be on ensuring France retains good relations with her trading and diplomatic partners. One of his first tasks will be to keep the promise that he made to the people of Malaysia in 2013. We welcome his appointment to the French Government, and wish him well.