Agricultural Policies in the Context of Regional and Global Food Security Concerns - the Case of the Asian Region
The paper discusses the effects of changes in Asian agricultural policies on regional and global food security. It also takes account of the consequences of the "rise of Asia" for the European Union food sector. The Asian region is vitally important for future world food security. On the one hand, it suffers from volatility of agricultural commodity prices; on the other hand, individual countries introduce export barriers reducing supply in the global market as was the case during the 2007-08 food crisis. Therefore, the key question arises as to whether regional integration agreements like ASEAN (Association of South-East Asian Nations) or ASEAN+China can shape agricultural policies of these countries and their food self-sufficiency status. Despite ASEAN's intention to establish an ASEAN Economic Community by 2015, there was a lack of solidarity during the 2006-08 crisis to ensure food security in the region. Yet, given increasing demands from economic, demographic and climatic pressures, more intense regional cooperation can be expected in the near future. Thus, it is of interest to explore possible common solutions for food security policy in the region as well as their impact on national, regional and global food policies. It is still uncertain whether the Asian countries will adopt outward- or inward-looking policy strategies. There were some initiatives set up, however, due to many controversies between net rice exporters and importers, they failed. Therefore, in what direction will agricultural policies in Asian countries be heading in the foreseeable future? Will Asian countries further develop market mechanisms supporting agricultural prices like export quotas and bans, or will they shift to more "green" and trade-neutral policy instruments consistent with the World Trade Organization's requirements? (original abstract)
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