ASEAN-EU Business Summit Convenes in KL; Brings CropLife Participation
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 23, 2015 - (ACN Newswire) - At the fourth ASEAN-EU Business Summit held at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Kuala Lumpur today, CropLife Asia's Executive Director Dr. Siang Hee Tan spoke about the benefits a common regulatory framework for crop protection products would bring to the member states of ASEAN - among them, providing farmers with greater access to the tools and technology to ensure future food security across the region.
With ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) 2015 at hand, the region's crop protection community is advocating the inclusion of regulatory harmonization as a means to support ASEAN countries in their pursuit of unique national agendas and agricultural goals.
"The farmers in ASEAN are among the world's best at what they do. But the challenges they face are great," remarked Dr. Tan in his presentation. "We have a shared responsibility to help them find safe and sustainable agricultural solutions in the face of worsening environmental realities, disease, and pests.
"Providing a harmonized regulatory framework in ASEAN for crop protection products will go a long way in ensuring our farmers are equipped with the 21st Century tools and technology they need to meet these challenges and help deliver food security across the region."
ASEAN is frequently recognized as one of the most productive food baskets in the world; and agriculture is an essential component of the cultures, traditions, and societies of the countries of Southeast Asia. However, among the top eight agro-producing countries of ASEAN, agriculture accounts for around 20% of national GDP on average, while the labor force working within the industry stands at a staggering 46% average. The disparity between the two figures highlights the opportunity that exists within the ASEAN agricultural sector to realize greater efficiency and robustness.
"We know that in 10 short years, the collective GDP for ASEAN is expected to exceed that of the UK and Japan," added Dr. Tan. "But at the same time, the world's population will grow by one billion and ASEAN's by about 60 million. Will agriculture in Malaysia and ASEAN be positioned to meet the challenge of feeding the region and world while also making the most of the opportunity presented by the region's growth?
"If we arm our ASEAN farmers with the latest plant science technology, it will go a long way in unleashing their potential, bringing a 'rising tide' to the agricultural sector of ASEAN, and taking the region's food to a different level."
Among the general benefits that would be realized through a harmonized regulatory framework for crop protection products in ASEAN are:
- Ensuring ASEAN farmers have greater access to the latest in crop protection technology and innovations;
- Easing the burden for the Governments of ASEAN by enabling shared regulatory capacity, knowledge, and data among ASEAN members states - leading to minimized costs, redundancy, and waste;
- Helping fuel the ASEAN economic engine of agriculture by reducing barriers to trade and investment while protecting farmers from poor quality, illegal, and/or counterfeit chemicals which can reduce yield and harm the environment; and
- Positioning ASEAN member states to better meet the food security challenges of the next decade and beyond through the benefits of crop protection advancements.
Jointly organized by the EU-ASEAN Business Council and EU-Malaysia Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the one-day ASEAN-EU Business Summit gathered key policy makers, regulatory, trade and economic officials as well as dignitaries together to discuss the potential challenges and opportunities presented by the AEC.
 Central Intelligence Agency. The World Factbook.
About CropLife Asia
CropLife Asia is a non-profit society and the regional organization of CropLife International, the voice of the global plant science industry. We advocate a safe, secure food supply, and our vision is food security enabled by innovative agriculture. CropLife Asia supports the work of 15 member associations across the continent and is led by nine member companies at the forefront of crop protection, seeds and/or biotechnology research and development. For more information, visit us at www.croplifeasia.org.
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