NANNING—Delegates from 21countries attended the Commodity Development in Asia roundtable meeting organized by the Common Fund and the Government of P.R.China. news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-08/19/content_11912711.htm– -China TV News.
The meeting, which ended last week, focused on the central role of commodity development for the economies of Asian developing countries and reviewed the constraints commodity stakeholders in the region are facing, especially during this period of global economic turmoil.
Delegates and the main speakers included government officials and representatives from farmers’ associations, research institutes, donor agencies, private sector companies, government and non-government international organisations.
Among the main highlights and themes emerging from the meeting were discussions about trade promotion of agricultural commodities, and China’s economic and technical cooperation with other developing countries in the ASEAN economic zone. The Asia commodities roundtable also provided an opportunity to exchange views on three important cross-commodity issues namely: price risk management, food security and the impact of the global financial crisis on commodity development.
“These subjects have become very important in the light of the current global economic and financial crisis, the volatility of the commodity prices, the impact of biofuel production on food security and the ongoing negotiations to conclude the WTO Doha Round,” said Amb. Ali Mchumo, managing director of the Common Fund.
Delegates also heard reports from major international organisations such as the UN-ESCAP and from UNDP concerning the economic outlook for Asia, commodity activities being undertaken within the framework of UNDP’s Green Commodities Facility, and about successful CFC-funded public-private partnership interventions in the grains and the fisheries sectors.
Amb. Ali Mchumo, closing the meeting, mentioned that he’d met with representatives from Cambodia, Kyrgysztan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam and briefed them on the advantages of membership to the Common Fund.
He said the four-day meeting had provided a useful opportunity for an in-depth examination of the commodity problematique regionally and globally.
“We, in the Common Fund, will take note of the observations, views and suggestions emanating from the Round Table. We hope participants will go back to their countries and organizations with a better understanding of the challenges ahead and will do their utmost to ensure that the various commodities considered during the Round Table contribute positively to the social economic advancement of the people in this region,” he said.
He thanked the Government of P.R. China through the Ministry of Commerce for hosting the meeting, as well as the government of the Autonomous Region of Guangxi and the China-ASEAN Expo Secretariat for the great hospitality and excellent conference facilities. Published 24 August 2009.