10 October 2023, China: The Twenty-Third Meeting of the ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry Plus Three (AMAF+3) was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Oct. 6. Deng Xiaogang, Vice Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, attended the meeting and delivered remarks.
Vice Minister Deng pointed out that China has always attached great importance to agricultural cooperation with ASEAN, Japan and South Korea under mechanisms such as ASEAN +3 and ASEAN +1. China has worked with all parties to implement the ASEAN Plus Three Cooperation Strategy on Food, Agriculture and Forestry 2016–2025 and continuously promote deep and solid cooperation in agriculture, thus playing a positive role in regional agricultural development and food security.
Vice Minister Deng said this year marks the “ASEAN–China Year of Agricultural Development and Food Security Cooperation.” China hopes to take this as an opportunity to strengthen cooperation with all parties and adopt pragmatic measures to build and refine more efficient, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable agro-food systems. In this way, it can contribute East Asian wisdom to global food security governance and become a model for such governance. To achieve this goal, Vice Minister Deng put forth four proposals: 1) promote green agricultural development in the region and join hands in exploring green agricultural development models that suit different types of ecosystems and different local conditions; 2) advance smart agriculture in the region by working with ASEAN countries to establish pilot smart farms, and cooperate to digitalize production, processing, logistics, sales, and trade; 3) boost cooperation in agricultural investment and trade and make use of the RCEP and the upgrade of the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area to facilitate steady growth in regional agro-trade; and 4) encourage people-to-people interactions in the region, conduct capacity building and exchange of agricultural talent, pass down traditional farming culture, and drive the integrated development of agriculture, culture, and tourism.
Representatives from ASEAN countries all expressed their appreciation for China’s contributions to enhancing regional food security, especially its increased donation to the ASEAN Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve. The meeting reviewed and adopted documents including the Joint Press Statement of the Twenty-Third Meeting oftheASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry Plus Three.
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