The Political Economy of Palm Oil
The Political Economy of Palm Oil: Poverty, Protests, and Politicization
Thursday, September 14, 2023 | 12:00 – 1:30 PM (ET)
NYU Wagner – Mulberry Conference Room (295 Lafayette Street, New York, NY, 10012)
Featuring: Yu-leng Khor, Senior Economist, Segi Enam Advisors
Moderator: Sreyneath Poole Carson, Program Coordinator, New York Southeast Asia Network (NYSEAN)
Palm oil, worth over USD100 billion a year as a raw material, is shrouded in ESG, health, and geopolitical controversy. This iconic commodity of Southeast Asia is tied to the rise of political Islam, while it has also become an essential bulk commodity the world over and popular with farmers from Malaysia to Mexico.
Yu-leng Khor, senior economist at Segi Enam Advisors, will examine palm oil’s role in developmentalism – lifting millions from poverty, its amazing spread of applications (in thousands of consumer products and in renewable energy), and its success in the American soy versus palm tussles of the 1980-90s. Currently, palm oil must be seen in an oligopolistic and oligarchic context, with trade boycotts (perceived and real), resistance to going green despite its recent non-deforestation success story, and the surge of rural political Islam in Indonesia and Malaysia, with the economic trap of an over-reliance.
Trained as a political economist at Oxford University and the London School of Economics, Yu-leng Khor works as a commercial economist on agribusiness, commodities, critical minerals, and renewable energy. She has authored reports on sustainability for the WWF and the European Commission.
To attend the event in person, please register here.
To attend the event online, please register here.
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