Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism cum Chairman of the 41st AMAF Meeting Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali bin Haji Apong with ASEAN Secretary-General Dato Paduka Lim Jock Hoi and ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry from ASEAN member states. PHOTOS: IZAH AZAHARI
BY Izah Azahari
ASEAN Ministers signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on ASEAN Cooperation in Agriculture and Forest Products Promotion Scheme (2019-2024) at the 41st Meeting of the ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry (41st AMAF Meeting) at The Empire Hotel & Country Club on Tuesday.
Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali bin Haji Apong signed on behalf of the Government of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam.
After the MoU signing, Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali in his capacity as Chairman of the 41st AMAF Meeting handed over the signed document to ASEAN Secretary-General Dato Paduka Lim Jock Hoi.
The signing indicates that ASEAN member states (AMS) agree to continue to enhance trade facilitation; enhance involvement of agricultural producers in the integration process; and enhance competitiveness of food, agriculture, forest products/commodities – as stated in the ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint 2025, and adopted by the 27th ASEAN Summit on November 22, 2015.
It also emphasises its commitment to the Vision and Strategic Plan for ASEAN Cooperation in Food, Agriculture and Forestry (FAF) 2025. It which provides the focus of cooperation in the areas of enhancing quantity and quality of production, enhancing economic integration and market access, ensuring food security and safety, assisting small producers and SMEs to meet global market standards, strengthening joint approaches on international and regional issues affecting the FAF sector, and promoting sustainable forest management; taking into consideration that agriculture and forestry will remain important aspects of the ASEAN economy with particular significant impact on income enhancement and poverty alleviation, and human resources can be developed through the transfer of technology, a result of the implementation of bold investment programmes.
Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali hands over the signed MoU to ASEAN Secretary-General
The MoU reaffirms awareness of the dynamics of recent global affairs, the trend toward regional trade and economic integration, and environmental issues.
It also recognises the need to realign the food, agriculture, and forestry sectors within the mainstream of ASEAN economic integration, acknowledging that these sectors cannot progress without promoting trade, and that ASEAN must take full advantage of relevant international organisations and fora.
It recognises the importance of liberalising the agriculture and forestry sectors and transforming these sectors from production-push approach to market-oriented approach; and realises the importance of agriculture and forest products diversification, intensification of downstream processing and higher value added activities.
It aims to improve the MoU on ASEAN Cooperation in Agriculture and Forest Products Promotion Scheme (signed in Nay Pyi Taw on September 24, 2014) and further strengthen cooperation among AMS on promotion of agriculture and forest products.
AMS senior officials, permanent secretary and deputy permanent secretaries at the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism (MPRT), as well as senior officers from the MPRT, the Department of Agriculture and Agrifood, Department of Fisheries and Forestry Department of Brunei Darussalam also attended.
The 41st AMAF Meeting and Related Meetings are being held in Brunei Darussalam until today, attended by Ministers of Agriculture and Forestry from AMS, Plus Three Countries (China, Korea and Japan), as well as India.
The meeting was preceded by the Senior Officials Meeting (SOM-41st AMAF) held on October 12 to October 14, 2019.
-- Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin