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Agriculture focus key to Asian food security: Deputy PM

Update: April, 22/2015 - 09:26
Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (second from right) attends the opening ceremony of the World Economic Forum (WEF) on East Asia in Jakarta yesterday. — VNA/VNS Photo Do Quyen

JAKARTA (VNS) — Agriculture and food security should play a central role in any country's development strategy, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said at the World Economic Forum (WEF) on East Asia in Jakarta yesterday.

Governments around the world needed to make strong commitments to agricultural development, Phuc said. He spoke at a debate session of the WEF that focused on ways to improve food security in Asia.

Viet Nam has worked continually to restructure its agriculture and build an environmentally friendly sector with highly competitive products, Phuc said.

He underlined the need to design appropriate policies to mobilise investment and seek new markets for farm exports. Promoting co-operation among nations was necessary to ensure food security and agricultural development, he said. Countries also needed to manage their water supplies in a sustainable manner, especially when it came to international rivers.

Phuc also briefed participants on Viet Nam's agriculture goals, saying the sector held a strategic position in the country's industrialisation and modernisation process. Viet Nam had carried out a number of reforms in the field.

Viet Nam had backed and implemented agricultural initiatives, Phuc said. Signing free trade agreements with foreign countries would open new markets and create new opportunities for enterprises to invest in the field. He called on international investors to funnel their capital into agriculture in Viet Nam.

In 2014, Viet Nam shipped more than 6.5 million tonnes of rice and large volumes of other agro-forestry-aquacultural products to foreign markets, raking in US$31 billion.

Economic connection

In a talk with the theme East Asia in the New Global Context, the Vietnamese Deputy PM highlighted the close co-ordination between nations in East Asia. They helped enhance connections between economies to establish a regional economy adaptable to new contexts.

Viet Nam was doing everything it could to restructure its economy and growth model, fully establish market economy mechanisms, help set up the ASEAN Community and negotiate free trade agreements, Phuc said.

East Asia had a number of opportunities for co-operation, he stressed, but stability and development in the region faced challenges caused by climate change, strategic competition, territorial disputes and security. Sea disputes must be solved peacefully based on international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Viet Nam always co-operated with other nations and partners on the principles of honesty and mutual trust, the Deputy PM asserted.

Earlier, Phuc met with Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla. The guest and host reviewed the two nations' Strategic Partnership relations. They agreed to co-operate on organising activities to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties. They also decided to work together on investment, trade and sea disputes.

At a meeting with Russian Deputy PM Akardy Dvokovic, the two officials consented to launch agreements reached during PM Medvedev's visit to Viet Nam, especially on trade, energy, oil and gas.

WEF Executive Director Philipp Rosler and Deputy PM Phuc also discussed ways to promote Viet Nam in WEF activities and strengthen co-operation on national competitiveness.

In another dialogue, Mari Kiviniemi, deputy secretary general of the Organisation for Economic and Co-operation Development (OECD) agreed with the Deputy PM to use resources from the OECD's Southeast Asia Programme for bilateral projects. — VNS

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