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In the Age of Glocalization, For the Brighter Future of Rural People In Asia Pacific Countries

Keynote Speech of the 2nd APAP Forum (Oct 22, 2003)


Dr. Lee, Sang Mu (Chairman of APAP Forum and GAPI)

Honorable Dr. Huh, Sang-Man, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry of the Republic of Korea Mr. Kim Young-Wook, Administrator of Rural Development Agency, Mr. Chung, Dae-Keon, Chairman of NACF, Distinguished Guests, Participants, Colleagues and Friends, Ladies and Gentlemen, It is a great pleasure and honor for me to be here and deliver this keynote speech as the chairman of APAP Forum. First of all, on behalf of the Forum and the organizers, I would like to convey our deepest appreciation for all the participants to this second APAP Forum. In addition, I would like to convey our deep and sincere gratitude to the sponsors, partners and supporters of this forum. Special thanks should go to RDA and NACF together with MAF of Korea. And my personal appreciation should go to the founding members of this forum, notably Dr. Donato Antiporta, Dr. Arsenio Balisacan, Dr. Hwang, Jikun, Dr. Hermanto Siregar, Mr. TeowChoo Ti, Dr. Ito, Shoichi, Dr. Puru Mudbhary, Dr. Tirso Paris. Of course I must acknowledge the devoted organizers of this forum, my colleagues in GAPI, President Choi, YongKyu, Vice President Cho, BangHwan and many more.

Introduction; New Civilization, Glocalization and Present Status of Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Community in Asia Pacific Countries
Let me start my speech by taking a look at the present status of agriculture, fisheries and rural community of Asia Pacific countries in the age of glocalization and new civilization. As we see, the global order has been reshaping within the framework of new civilization and glocalization. We see that international politics, in order to cope with the trend of globalization seem to be further reorganized with USA taking more lead since the Iraq war. At the same time, there becomes another trend of localization symbolized by the strengthened and widely disseminated local autonomy based on the more powerful and matured civil society and NGOs. Both of these were also further affected by the breakout and treatment of SARS. For the world economy, there has been another trend of rapid integration into the global market along with the grand shift to the New Economy. Recent procedures in WTO/DDA and FTA negotiations with the growing influence of multilateral businesses as well as international institutions show this trend very clearly. However, on the other hand, inequality between rich and poor countries and perpetuity of dual structure in many parts of the world have widened and deepened seriously at the same time. While observing this new global order, one outstanding feature which we must reconfirm is the substantially increased role of Asia-Pacific region. It is becoming the central axis of the global economy in the 21st century and now facing the great challenges from that reason. To overcome those challenges, it must aim at a progressive regional community in which all participating entities will mutually complement each other under the ideology of balance and harmony. As of the reality of agriculture, fisheries and its rural community, their function has changed dramatically with its decreasing importance, weight and influence mainly because of the change of developmental stages. Instead its balance, parity or equity and

linkages with non-agricultural sectors have become more seriously taken into consideration. As we are all know familiar, that the major roles of agriculture, fisheries and rural sector in national economy have been transformed significantly and some parts have transferred to other sectors. Consequently the so called non-economic and/or non-trade concerns and multi-functionality of agriculture and the rural sector are now getting more recognition. The spontaneous changes within the agriculture sector itself have been accelerated on the basis of structural changes in demand and supply of agricultural products accompanied by fundamental shifts in the ways of agricultural production and farm management. And the inferiority of agricultural and rural economy relative to other sectors has been deepening. On the other hand, it has become peoples increasing interest on the issues of food safety and environmental protection. However, the importance of Asia Pacific region in the global market in agriculture and the rural sector has changed drastically and substantially as well as of the other sectors. This region has emerged as the biggest market of agricultural products in the world with rapidly increased volumes of trade and investment. Its structure of competitiveness in the agricultural industries has been transformed significantly toward high quality and low cost consciousness with intensive use of skilled-labor, high valueadded technology and capital accumulations. But in most parts of this region, no one can deny that the major agricultural and rural policy issues to be addressed are still those of food security and rural poverty. All these issues including the two pressing ones are presently common in Asia Pacific agriculture, fisheries and rural community. We have to tackle and overcome these as possible as we can in the nearest future.

1. Goals and Strategies for the Future of Asia Pacific Agriculture, Fisheries and its Rural Community

Now lets move the subject to the goals and strategies for the future. I believe that the progressive policy goals should be properly identified on the basis of exact diagnosis and analysis of present status and future perspectives. The strategies must also aim for the most appropriate guide posts for the future of well harmonized and balanced between the present reality and desirable ideologies. First of all, I strongly believe that Asia Pacific agricultural industries including fisheries and forestry will ultimately have to be developed and settled forward adapted to the realities of an integrating world market. For that, they must be self-determined, selfreliable, self-responsible and self-respectable businesses so as to be self-adjusting toward free competition and upgraded to the global standards in every aspect. They must become quality conscious and cost effective industries. And they must become so called 4-H 1-L industry achieving high productivity, low cost, high value added, high rate of return, and high income altogether. Furthermore they must aim to become the comprehensive food industries as possibly integrated vertically and horizontally as they can to become the most important strategic industries for rural people. Secondly, I believe that Asia Pacific agriculture and rural sector should contribute to the growth and development, balancing and stabilization of the national economy together with other sectors. We must pursue the objective of cost minimization within this sector while harmonizing with macro economic indicators. We must redefine the roles and functions of agriculture, forestry and fisheries sector and rural economy for the nation as a whole. We must also mobilize and utilize all the available resources for growth potential to maximize job creation in agriculture and rural sector. And we must enlarge and strengthen all possible linkages with related industries and agri-businesses as much as we can. Thirdly, I believe that Asia Pacific agriculture and rural community should peacefully coexist in harmony with the traditional culture and surrounding natural ecosystems while pursuing to secure and maintain the maximum sustainability and vitality. In order to do that, we must connect all the plans, projects and programs for agricultural

and rural development to pursue the conservation of natural environment and preservation of traditional culture. Also the rural community will have to be developed into a pleasant and comfortable place of amenity to be suitable space not only for the residence but also for the industry, business, leisure and recreation. Above all, we must encourage rural people to recover from frustrations and despair to regain healthy confidence and pride for their own lives. These are the three goals of Asia Pacific agriculture, fisheries and rural community for the brighter future of rural people in my mind. And to pursue these goals, we should have appropriate strategies and proper approaches to achieve them in the most efficient and democratic way. First, we will have to accumulate our capacities to actualize those goals to aim at the practical and feasible ideologies based on the objective functions compromised with future demand perspectives. They must be the ones to suffice the minimum requirement of basic needs for the human nature and at the same time to pursue for the balance and harmony of the desirable demand with the natural trends. For that, we may have to encourage and facilitate the public and private sectors altogether to join simultaneously for securing the maximum capabilities to put into practice and to strengthen the linkages and networks among them. Moreover, we may have to mobilize the political will and influence at the maximum through the empowerment of rural organizations demonstrated by increased collective voice and bargaining power of rural people. Second, we will have to put our efforts more on disseminating wider solidarity by encouraging self motivation to participate together and enlarging the self justified consensus among every concerned people. For this, we may have to expand the practical researches and active discussions consistently and to exchange experiences, information and human resources through continuous dialogues and communications to reach consensus and co-sharing of mutual trust and mutual benefits. Furthermore, we may have to encourage rural people especially the young ones to be more vital, proactive, self-help and can-do spirit. We may have to bring up more young and capable young farmers and local rural leaders who are full of confidence and

pride. And then link them to cooperate with each other so that they can form the closer networks of coalition or alliances which will give them the maximum synergy effects necessary for the successful team works. Third, we will have to mobilize and maximize all the available natural, physical and human resources and capital up to the limit of existing constraints. For this, we may have to take all the factors into serious consideration, of limited capacity of national economy, present constraints in public finance both in national and local governments, and purchasing power of consumers and its limit in taking excessive burdens. By doing this, we may have to expand and disseminate the spirit of selfresponsibility and self-respect, through the self-help channels of the self-reliable management, by the self-determining decision making, for the self-adjusting free competition. That must be backed up continuously by the most efficient resource mobilization schemes to be followed by consistent system of planning, implementation, monitoring and feedback.

2. Policy Directions and Action Programs for the Future Of Asia Pacific Agriculture and Rural Sector
The next subject will be the desirable policy directions and some more detailed necessary action programs toward the brighter future. Above all, the first and the foremost priority area for this will be the capacity building and the improvement of governance system on the basis of the human resource development. The most important means of human resource development will be the continuous efforts to bring up the necessary and sufficient manpower for agriculture and rural sector. Of course they must be well educated and trained enough. But before the programs of education, training and extension, we must not forget that securing the pool of young, healthy, future manpower resources will be the first key factor for the success. And in addition, to have more capable and dedicated young leaders among them as many as possible will be another critical factor.

Of course they must be well organized by themselves with full of confidence and pride where the spirit of self-help and self-responsibility should be respected and valued. And these organizations must be firmly standing on the basis of self-motivation and voluntary participation with the enthusiasm to cooperate with each other. Again, the principle of self-reliance on its own capability must be the starting point of healthy agri-business management. We must not repeat the failure of giving too much assistance to farmers, fishermen and rural people which consequently made them too much dependant on others, mostly the public sector. We must not forget the danger of political temptation of subsidizing for more votes, which has always resulted in too much burden to the national as well as local governments, while for the people too quickly losing their confidence and self spirit to see only the remaining frustrations and accumulated complaints among them. And this self spirit must become the core of disciplines for all related organizations and institutions leading the whole agricultural and rural industries toward self-adjusting to the global market strengthened by closer linkages with consumer organizations. On the other hand, these self-reliant organizations must become the central force of agricultural and rural sector. At the same time they must be functioning as a total and comprehensive rural service institution for rural people. Subsequently altogether they must become settled as the well improved democratic and progressive governance system fit to the global standard of openness, transparency and accountability. As a precondition for this, voluntary, devoted and self sacrificing leadership with highly progressive visions needs to be secured and brought up systemically. In addition, there should be the institutional support in legal and administrative devices. Of course, wider solidarity and active participation of the members of all concerned organizations both in agricultural industry and rural community should be required to back up. The next priority area to human development will be the overall and thorough innovation in agricultural industry including forestry and fisheries. All the efforts for this innovation through entire processes of production, marketing, technology and management should be focused on aiming again at the self-sustained growing businesses to be self-adjusting to the freely competing global market by achieving those targets of 4-H and 1-L, however still under the premises of food security and food safety for all.

For this, it should accompany proper enlargement to economically viable business size and significant cost reduction both in production and marketing. Business integration of vertical and horizontal terms must be promoted toward the improved quality of products and services at the same time with higher net returns. It must be shifted from the simple, primary 1st industry into composite industry of 1st, 2nd and 3rd altogether. High and new technology and management practices will have to be developed and widely diffused in the whole industry together with the acceleration of utilizing information and communication technologies. R&D investment to support technological and managerial innovations throughout the overall agribusinesses will have to be expanded with continuing education and training to disseminate more of new practices. Timely institutionalization of legal and administrative support system will have to be facilitated appropriately. Extension services will have to be progressively reshaped into customer and demand driven systems. Technology, management and marketing information networks also will have to be equipped with the real time on-line systems to overcome the so called digital divide. The effects of market integration and trade liberalization will have to be maximized through more vitally activated trade and increased investment. Unnecessary old regulations that have hampered local and international investments and trades in the past will have to be minimized accordingly to meet the consensus requirements from the WTO/DDA negotiations. The fair and equitable resource mobilization schemes will have to be adopted and settled in place where public and private sectors work together. We must not allow any more customs and behaviors of the market failure mostly unfair to the economically weak rural people. But at the same time we must not repeat either the bitter experiences of government failure mostly due to corruption and red-tape, and mainly by excessive or unnecessary market interventions. We must not forget the lessons from the well known policy fallacy of insisting only on self sufficiency of staple food crops and not on the actual food security of the people. We must not forget the lessons from the policy irony of the price support mechanisms

for the rural poor, who has relatively little to sell at that price instead which became very harmful for the urban poor as well as rural poor who has to buy at that high price. And we know these policy mistakes have mostly resulted in huge amount of government spending, and very often became the inescapable trap of overproduction as well as mounting public debts. These have been shown in many developed countries in the past decades with domestically unwelcome burden for the tax payers, internationally at the same time, seriously hurting many poor farmers in other developing countries. Again we must not forget the risk and danger of political temptation which can pollute all sound bases of public expenditures and market operations. The last but not least priority area will be continuous and consistent activation of the rural economy. All the efforts to push for that should be for the harmonious and well balanced development of rural community between industrial development and rural area development aiming at the sustainable and amenable living space for the people who want to live in. It should lead to maximum generation of income sources and employment opportunities in rural area within the premise of environmental protection. For this, we may have to more active in attracting all the possible business opportunities not only agriculture, forestry, fisheries and other related agri-businesses but also including manufacturing and service industries and public service facilities fit to the rural area. Especially we may have to invite the maximum potential of leisure and eco-tourism businesses, training and education facilities, recreation and silver industries to utilize the green resources and traditional cultural heritages of rural areas. In order to keep the people pleasantly living in rural area as many as possible, the level of public services, social welfare and infrastructures must be improved at least to the equivalent level of urban ones. That must include all necessary rural infrastructures such as public roads, electricity, mass media channels, available means of transportation and communication for rural people, mass housing, potable water supply and sanitation, cultural centers, entertainment facilities, and information networks, etc. At the same time it must cover all the basic welfare systems including education, health care, recreation and supporting services, pension programs for the elders after their retirement age, etc.

Finally, we may have to encourage preservation of inherited traditional culture and further development of it while facilitating the opportunities of exchanges between rural and urban communities. Moreover, we may have to encourage utilizing these cultural resources of rural tradition to create more income and employment sources by generating culture and tourism industries. More and more opportunity of interchanges between rural and urban communities and strengthened solidarity following those activities will have to be developed to a new system of appropriate cost sharing among all the stakeholders. Here again, we must not repeat the policy falsity of tackling these socio-economic problems approaching only by means of economic policy for agricultural industries, often by price support for major crops which may not be very relevant. These problems can be solved possibly by social policies to aim at balance and equity between rural and urban areas or socio-economic policies to help the socially less favored people like the elderly rural poor. That is the reason why we need the comprehensive rural development programs for entire rural community and the people.

3. Future Plans of Policy Cooperation for Asia Pacific Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Community

Allow me now to discuss about the subject of future plans of policy cooperation. I believe that the basic premise for this should be the possibilities of role sharing with simultaneous effort to pursue the vital growth and development among countries under the principle of mutual respect and equal benefit for each other, at the same time, on the basis of mutual complementarities and mutual support in accordance with the different developmental stages for different countries. I believe that it should start from the point of interchange or exchange which should progress to the next step of experience sharing and co-ownership of information. From there it must lead to the higher stage of role sharing and actual cooperation based on

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mutual understanding and consensus building, and finally reaches the ultimate stage of harmonious system of mutual trust and voluntary mutual assistance. First for interchanges and exchanges of human resources, we may have to expand this to the maximum to give more opportunity, for people to come and go and meet together for the gatherings, like this forum. Next for the exchanges of material resources with necessary information and experiences, we may have to encourage more proactive approaches without any restrictions in all the fields of technology, management, market, policy and so on. I am sure that the information networks on the basis of global internet system will be the most necessary pre-requisite for this. And again I believe that it should be a comprehensive total approach for cooperation and role sharing. It must be systematized to be an actual and practical cooperation and at the same time a more concrete and detailed role sharing in all areas including technology development, research and experiment, extension services, etc. Also it must be a win-win approach in the field of investment and trade, in which all concerned stakeholders may become the winners by doing more proactive cooperation and participatory role sharing. In addition I strongly believe that it should be a collective mutual help system for any of future negotiations and follow up policy processes. For this, we may have to strengthen collective voices and bargaining powers as a common interest country group on the tables of WTO/DDA and/or other FTA negotiations. We may have to develop a systematically coordinated procedure of mutually adjusted pre-arrangement in advance to settle disputes from the differences of their national positions and policy intentions between different countries. Moreover, we may have to upgrade our efforts of looking for the mutual benefit and common interest also in domestic policy making processes by trying to establish a system of mutual assistance and harmonization. In which all possible agricultural and rural policies may have to be pre-coordinated in advance and/or mutually assisted and adjusted through the whole process of policy formulation and implementation. I believe this will enable to bring up synergy effects of our policy efforts especially in the area of structural adjustment policies to reorganize relations with non-agricultural sectors.

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In addition, beyond the official exchanges and formal cooperation among governments through international institutions, I should like to emphasize that we may need very urgently to have an all round solidarity of overall alliances of concerned stakeholders including private corporations, NGOs, research institutes, etc.

5. Conclusion: Expected Roles of the APAP Forum


Now I want to conclude my speech by saying that it is our responsibility to create a brighter future for Asia Pacific agriculture, fishery and rural people with our collective will of cooperation. I want to repeat the phrase that I delivered last year in Jeju that the practical ideology for us at this moment is that of solidarity and synergy. We have to seek for harmony and balance between generalization and specialization, consensus building and self identification to cope with the historic trends of new civilization and glocalization. We have to maximize the vitality and creativity through mutual exchanges and co-ownership, to encourage competition with cooperation under the principles of mutual respect and friendliness among neighbors. And we have to initiate the pragmatic and strategic approaches to actualize the ideals on the basis of voluntary self innovation, wider networking and creative team works. Again I repeat that the key factors for the success of any organizations are capacity building and governance. For this, most of all we need to secure qualified and experienced human resources with capability and devotion. And we need to build an appropriate system that can overcome the failure of both the market and the government. Also we need to pursue to meet the global standard in all aspects such as openness, transparency, accountability and progressiveness, well balanced with those of stability and suitability to the present reality. Finally, I would like to take this opportunity of officially launching the APAP Forum to reconfirm our consensus and solemn commitments to do all our efforts for these ideals and targets on behalf of all of us here today. In that sense, let me extend my deepest and sincere gratitude to those who have initiated with me, supported and participated altogether up until this moment for the

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creation of this forum; all the officers and members of GAPI, APPC, CCAP, and Brighton Institute, all the supporters from MAF, NACF, RDA of Korea and Jeju University, prominent colleagues from FAO Bangkok Office, and distinguished participants from the Philippines, Japan, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Nepal, and USA. In closing, I promise here that we, all the members of APAP Forum, will take the self responsibility of realizing the ideals for the brighter future of rural people in the Asia Pacific countries as the historic demand of this region. APAP forum will initiate more positive core activities for practical cooperation and coordination in any necessary agricultural and rural policy area in the region. APAP Forum will do the leading role to seek for the changes and reforms along with the stability and prosperity at the same time of Asia Pacific agriculture, fisheries and rural community. Thank you very much to all of you.

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