ASEAN to discuss serious challenge posed by high food, oil prices

ASEAN to discuss serious challenge posed by high food, oil prices

SINGAPORE - South-East Asian foreign ministers plan to tackle the devastating hardships triggered by spiraling food and oil prices which threaten to derail efforts to create a European Union- style economic community.



By (DPA)

Published: Sat 19 Jul 2008, 3:19 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 12:53 PM

The creation of an Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Food Summit has been proposed for the agenda when ministers of the group's 10 member countries start meeting late Sunday in Singapore.

The ministers are set to discuss "the growing challenge posed by rising oil and food prices, which pose a serious challenge to our peoples' welfare as well as our countries' continued economic development," said a draft joint communique.

They are expected to stress the need "to ensure the efficient functioning of market forces, as well as to come up with longer-term agricultural solutions," the communique added.

Prices of basic commodities, including rice, a staple food for millions of people in ASEAN, have surged in past months amid a supply crunch and skyrocketing world oil prices.

Among the countries hit hard by the rising prices are members of ASEAN - which groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

During the 41st Ministerial Meeting, the ministers also intend to stress the regional bloc's commitment to establishing "a Single Market and Production Base" as part of the blueprint to create an ASEAN Economic Community by 2015.

On July 24, ASEAN ministers will be joined by their counterparts from such dialogue partners as the United States, the EU, Russia, Australia, Japan, China, and South Korea in the ASEAN Regional Forum, Asia's largest security grouping.


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