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ASEAN promotes food security and trade

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The third ASEAN Food Security Conference with the theme of food trade, investment and food security wrapped up in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Oct. 5.

The three-day conference drew more than 100 delegates from members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and other countries, representatives from governmental and non-governmental organisations, regional and international organisations, and research institutes and businesses operating in related field.

It was jointly held by the US Agency for International Development and the ASEAN Secretariat prior to the 33rd meeting of the ASEAN Ministers of Agriculture and Forestry slated for Oct. 6.

At the conference, the participants focused on four main topics of food security, intellectual property and agrifood trade, trade regulations and standards and food trade facilitation inside ASEAN.

Addressing the conference, ASEAN Secretariat’s representative Suriyan Vichitlenkarn introduced action programmes and initiatives to ensure food security for ASEAN.

He emphasised the need to implement the ASEAN Plus 3 Emergency Rice Reserve Programme to provide emergency aid relief to member countries affected by disasters.

Ensuring food security is important for ASEAN on the path to build pillars of the ASEAN Economics Community by 2015, he said.

Suriyan called on ASEAN member countries to promote the reform of related policies, encourage the private sector to involve in ensuring food security, facilitate cross-border food trade and build ASEAN common food standards.

The participants proposed launching a dialogue mechanism between the private sector and ASEAN governments on regional food trade.

The first ASEAN Food Security Conference was held in June, 2010 in Singapore and the second in July 2010 in Manila, the Philippines./.
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