News: Southeast Asia
For three days in June 2015, more than 100 representatives from governments, academia, trade associations, industry, and investor groups met in Singapore for the 1st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Aquaculture Industry Summit, hosted using MAP and FMD funds by the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) and the American Soybean Association / U.S Soybean Export Council (ASA / USSEC), along with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS). The summit’s two primary goals were to bring key stakeholders to the table to address constraints on the aquaculture sector and to work together to find common ground for developing a roadmap towards the harmonization of regulatory and certification issues among ASEAN members. Summit sessions addressed: (1) best practices in ASEAN aquaculture farm management; (2) strategies and future of ASEAN feed management; (3) regulation and legislation related to aquaculture; and (4) investment prospects in aquaculture.
H.E. Kirk Wagar, Ambassador of the United States to Singapore, was a keynote speaker at the summit, and noted the extraordinary 7.8 percent annual growth rate for aquaculture in the region in the past two decades. At the end of the summit, a dossier containing seven proposed action items was presented to the ASEAN secretariat. The action items encouraged the harmonization of efforts in Southeast Asia’s aquaculture industry, including the establishment of the ASEAN Community of 2015 to help boost the development of the aquaculture community and trade in aquaculture products, the welcome and support of ASEAN’s implementation of programs and activities, the development of a strategic plan of action for ASEAN Cooperation on Food, Agriculture and Forestry 2016-2025, and ASEAN’s effort to promote public-private sector participation in the aquaculture sector, particularly suggesting coordination in Indonesia. By 2050, Asia is expected to account for about 90 percent of global aquaculture production, feeding a population totaling 9.2 billion. Southeast Asia is a big contributor to the aquaculture industry, with 54 percent of ASEAN seafood production in 2012 coming from aquaculture.
The recent Southeast Asia Trade Mission, organized by USSEC, consisted of 35 executives representing 30 countries including Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines and Myanmar. Companies such as integrated food processors, oilseed crushers, livestock raisers, livestock feed producers, soy food manufacturers and local trading companies were represented. The goal of this mission was to highlight the value of U.S. agricultural products, promote the U.S. as the one-point ag-solution provider to international customers, and deliver U.S. Soy’s Total Quality promise.
During the ten day mission, the trade team toured grain export facilities in the Washington State, visited with Minnesota soybean growers and inspected the soybean crop in parts of Minnesota, before joining over 200 representatives from 40 different countries at the highlight of this mission: the U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange in Davenport, Iowa. Co-located with the 10th Annual Midwest Specialty Grains/Grain Export Shipping Conference & Trade Show, the U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange featured two days of meetings and presentations, facility and river tours, as well as private meetings with U.S. exporters for introductions, market discussions and the exploration of business opportunities.
Based on written evaluations received from trade team members, the overall experience of this year’s trade mission has been extremely positive. As with every mission since its 2008 inception, actual trades and business have been negotiated and concluded. This year, an estimated value of almost $98 million worth of approximately 155,000 metric tons of soybeans, 30,000 metric tons of soybean meal, 10,000 metric tons of corn, 25,000 metric tons of dried distiller grains with solubles (DDGS), and 5,000 metric tons of wheat were transacted by the trade team at the event.
This program is funded by and under the auspices of the United Soybean Board, the American Soybean Association and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Key contributors to this mission include: AG Processing; Bunge North America; Columbia Grain, Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council; North Dakota Soybean Council; South Dakota Soybean Research & Promotion Council; Midwest Shippers Association; and Iowa Soybean Association.