02 July 2015
Successful implementation of the AEC2015 should have a positive impact on ASEAN’s agri-food sector, leading to improved food availability for the region and increased exports. Sadly, early signs are not encouraging. Major constraints apparent on investment need to be addressed.
Investment has long been a key engine for inclusive growth and development. Through the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) 2015 agenda, the region aims to establish a unified and harmonised market and usher in fresh investment. However, most recent reports show that the AEC agenda has been falling short of reaching target goals on investment liberalisation measures. Identifying the specific constraints will be critical to hasten progress and improve food security conditions in the region.
Until this century, agriculture was a major source of employment for much of ASEAN. Currently, agriculture’s contribution to the economy of individual ASEAN states ranges from less than 1% of GDP (Singapore, Brunei Darussalam) to more than 30% (Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar). Notwithstanding this, ASEAN is a major producer of key food, fruit and industrial crops as well as aquacultural products, which generate sizable export revenues across the region. Intensifying investment in the agri-food sector will provide critical support not only in raising productivity growth to drive income uptrends in the agri-food sector but more importantly to uplift the welfare of agriculture dependent low-income sectors of ASEAN.
… Paul P. S. Teng is Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He is Professor and Principal Officer at the National Institute of Education (NIE). Jurise Athena Oliveros is a Research Assistant in Natural Sciences & Science Education Academic Group, NIE.
NTS Centre / Online
Last updated on 16/11/2015