ASEAN-Japan Centre (AJC) hosted a webinar on “Promoting Food Security in ASEAN and Japan through Free Trade Agreements (FTAs)” on June 17, 2022. The webinar provided an opportunity for stakeholders to know about the state of food security in Japan and how it could be increased with the use of FTAs which provides for greater market access and trade of agricultural products within the region.
There were about 90 participants from government, academe, business sectors. 100% of feedback survey respondents found the webinar useful and informative, and 91% thinks that FTAs could promote food security.
Resource speakers for the webinar
1. Mr. Akihiko Hirasawa
Executive Officer, Basic Research Division of Norinchukin Research Institute Co., Ltd.
On the question of food security, Mr. Hirasawa shared that in recent years, Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has been aiming to utilize FTAs and EPAs as part of its food security measures. As a result, the Japan-Australia EPA strives not to introduce restrictions or bans on food exports, and if such measures are introduced, it will endeavor to limit them to the extent necessary and stipulates that consultations be held in advance.
2. Ms. Tisha Pia E. Dela Rosa
Chief of the Macro-Economic Policy Division of the Policy Research Service of the Philippines Department of Agriculture.
Ms. Dela Rosa said that trade has helped reduce food insecurity by connecting regions with limited agricultural potential and large populations to regions with comparative advantages in agriculture. FTAs adhere to the provision on export restrictions in the WTO Agreement on Agriculture. Restriction in export of foodstuff is not encouraged.
3. Mr. Souknilanh Keola
Associate Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Developing Economies of Japan External Trade Organization (IDE-JETRO)
Mr. Keola presented a simulation model which predicts that services followed by agriculture are to be the two most sectors that benefit the most from RCEP in Lao PDR. With Japan, China, and Republic of Korea in one trade pact for the first time, RCEP has the potential to push the development of export-oriented agriculture, and hence, food security in Lao PDR to the next level.