|Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyễn Xuân Cường speaks at the preparatory senior gathering of the 40th meeting of the ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry (AMAF), held in Hà Nội yesterday. — Photo baodautu.vn|
HÀ NỘI — Agriculture affects the economic, social and political stability of individual member states and the whole of ASEAN (Associate of Southeast Asian Nations) and partner countries, said Vietnamese Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyễn Xuân Cường in the preparatory senior gathering of the 40th meeting of the ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry (AMAF), held in Hà Nội yesterday.
“In the new context, agriculture retains a pivotal role in the ASEAN Economic Community and contributes to the realisation of many of the community’s goals such as creating a highly competitive economic sector, developing economies that are equally efficient and fully integrating into the global economy”, Cường told the meeting.
Việt Nam is hosting the 40th AMAF, 18th AMAF+3 (China, Japan, and South Korea) and the 6th ASEAN-China SPF (Sanitary and Phytosanitary) Ministerial Meeting from October 8 to 13.
In the meeting, the participants discussed common issues relating to co-operation in agriculture, forestry and fisheries as well as measures on food security and safety enhancement, making contributions to fulfill the ASEAN Community Vision and ASEAN Co-operation Strategy on Food and Agro-Forestry in 2016-2015.
The agricultural sector has been facing big challenges such as climate change, market difficulty, urbanisation, industrialisation and uneven development with other regions in the world.
To overcome the challenges, further co-operate in the region is needed. This requires each member country in particular and the association in general to have strong commitment to and proper investment for ASEAN’s agricultural development.
With 650 million people and a combined GDP reaching US$2.7 trillion in 2017, the strengthening of intra-ASEAN agricultural co-operation was important to take advantage of trade agreements such as the ASEAN Comprehensive Investment Agreement, the ASEAN Framework Agreement on Services and many other regional agreements which help promote faster agricultural growth, create more jobs, attract foreign direct investment (FDI), better resource allocation and improve capacity building and competitiveness of ASEAN agro-forestry.
This was the third time Việt Nam has held the presidency of AMAF and AMAF+3.
“As a host and president of AMAF in 2018-2019, Việt Nam pledged to working closely with its member countries and the ASEAN Secretariat in the implementation of its co-operation activities to enhance ASEAN’s competitiveness, promote sustainable agricultural growth and development in the area”, the minister said. — VNS