The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) convened the “Fifth APEC Ministerial Meeting on Food Security” in Puerto Varas, Chile, on August 23 and 24, 2019 (local time). Taiwan was represented at the event by a delegation led by Council of Agriculture (COA) Deputy Minister Huang Chin-cheng. This Ministerial Meeting focused on the following subjects: “Fostering sustainable food systems,” “Embracing innovation, emerging technologies, and digital opportunities,” “Leveraging associativity and enhancing food value chains and trade,” and “Strengthening rural development as a place of opportunities.” Deputy Minister Huang not only met with ministers and representatives of other APEC economies to collectively discuss promotional strategies, he also held bilateral meetings with representatives of APEC members to exchange views about issues of common concern, expand the scope of agricultural cooperation, and create win-win situations.
Chile, the host of this year’s APEC meeting, declared the period from August 15 through 24 to be “Food Security Week.” They arranged for a number of food security fora and meetings to be held in Puerto Varas, and invited APEC members to come and share the contents and results of food security measures and projects from recent years. They also convened the “Ministerial Meeting on Food Security,” which issued a joint statement by ministers emphasizing common policy positions to ensure regional food security. Taiwan’s delegation was composed of staff from the COA, the Ocean Affairs Council, and the Food and Drug Administration of the Ministry of Health and Welfare. On this trip, besides clarifying the implementation situation for Taiwan’s proposal “Reducing Food Loss & Waste (FLW) for Addressing Interlinked Challenges of Food Security and Climate Change in APEC Member Economies” to other APEC members, the delegation discussed cooperative strategies to maintain food security with other representatives in attendance.
Taiwan shares measures and achievements in promoting food security
At this Ministerial Meeting, Deputy Minister Huang, in addressing the issue of “Fostering sustainable food systems,” explained the current challenges faced by the Asia-Pacific region to the ministers and representatives. He also called on all APEC members to work together to ensure food security. In addition, he explained the implementation situation and outcomes of the “2019 APEC Expert Consultation on ‘Reducing Food Loss & Waste (FLW) for Addressing Interlinked Challenges of Food Security and Climate Change in APEC Member Economies,’” held in Taiwan in July. He stated his hope that Taiwan will continue to strengthen cooperation and exchanges with all APEC members, to work together to promote regional food security and sustainable agricultural development.
APEC economies discuss cooperative strategies for fostering sustainable food systems
The COA points out that food security is a national security issue about which all countries are deeply concerned. In particular, challenges like climate change, population growth, exhaustion of natural resources, insufficient agricultural trade and investment (barriers to which are difficult to overcome), as well as uncontrolled food losses and waste all demonstrate the urgency of constructing sustainable food systems. APEC’s theme for this year is “Connecting People, Building the Future,” and this Ministerial Meeting stressed how to integrate the wisdom and experiences of APEC economies and discuss cooperative strategies for Asia-Pacific regional food security through things like inclusive growth, emerging technologies and digital opportunities, urban and rural sustainable development, food value chains, promotion of agricultural trade, and reducing food losses and waste.
Promoting agricultural cooperation, creating win-win situations
On this trip Deputy Minister Huang also planned to engage in bilateral discussions with food security ministers and representatives from APEC economies. He wanted to share Taiwan’s successful experiences with cooperative agricultural programs under the “New Southbound Policy,” as well as put forward Taiwan’s views on promoting APEC regional economic and trade integration. He also aimed to exchange views on issues of mutual concern. The hope is to promote agricultural cooperation and exchanges between Taiwan and countries in the Asia-Pacific region, and create win-win situations.