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Delivered by Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana

03 September 2022


Distinguished participants, ladies and gentlemen,

It is my pleasure to deliver the welcome remarks at the 2022 CIFTIS International Forum for Development and Investment of Modern Supply Chain of Food.

Lingering consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and exacerbated climate-induced disasters remain a threat to food production and supply chains. This has posed challenges to the most vulnerable stakeholders in our region’s food systems, such as smallholder farmers or informal sector workers, whom we rely  for our food security.

Geopolitical unrest is adding uncertainty to food production and trade not only through the effects of regional and global conflicts on critical trade routes, shipping costs, and production of food and agriculture inputs but also on the realignment of trade relations. As a result, this year global food prices have already increased by 8 to 22 per cent.

The food-price crisis has been made  worse by the growing number of food trade restrictions put in place by countries to increase domestic supply. The number of countries with active export restrictions on food increased from 3 in February to 23 now, including 11 Asia-Pacific countries. Some estimates show that export restrictions may increase food prices by as much as 40 per cent from the 2022 baseline.

Distinguished participants, ladies and gentlemen,

This food price crisis again highlights the need for regional cooperation. For the global food supply chains to function and be able to safeguard international food security, it is imperative that countries in the supply chains should refrain from beggar-thy-neighbour policies, introduce trade liberalization measures to ease consumer prices, diversify sources of imports, and reduce trade costs.

This requires a forum like what we have today to enhance broader discussions on the impact of policies, seek potential solutions, and coordinate actions. In the past years, the community gathered at this forum has made significant contributions to food security.

From ESCAP, the Centre for Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization (CSAM) has partnered with some of you in efforts for reducing food waste and promoting knowledge exchange and capacity building for the adoption of sustainable agricultural machinery and other technologies that are crucial to ensure food productivity.

we also provide policy solutions for facilitating cross-border food trade and implementing digital technology in trade. We have established mechanisms, particularly the Framework Agreement on Facilitation of Cross-border Paperless Trade, which leverage international cooperation to realize the potential of a modern, digital-enabled trade system in ensuring the swift movement of food and other essential goods.

We stand ready to further partnering with you and supporting our member States to ensure food security in our region.

I wish you fruitful discussions and I hope this forum will be another important step towards global food security.

Thank you.

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Centre for Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization