International Trade and Food Security
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International Trade and Food Security

Exploring Collective Food Security in Asia

Edited by Michael Ewing-Chow and Melanie Vilarasau Slade

Food security is one of the greatest challenges of our time. Through a collection of commissioned studies, which draw upon the experience of leading experts and scholars in trade, investment, law, economics, and food policy, this book assesses whether self-sufficiency is an adequate response to the food security challenges we face
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Chapter 3: Food security initiatives in Asia and the impact of WTO Regulation

Roehlano M. Briones


In many developing countries, ‘food security’ policies are typically associated with public sector action based on the exercise of State sovereignty: there is an emphasis on direct command by the State over markets, and ‘food sovereignty’ over reliance on international trade, particularly for sensitive commodities. In Southeast Asia, this contrasts with the push for an ASEAN single market and production base, as described in the ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint. Most countries in Asia have furthermore already acceded to the WTO. Food reserves, both private and public, command a renewed level of attention in today’s era of pricing volatility. In addition to various national initiatives, ASEAN, together with the Plus Three countries, namely China, Japan, and Republic of Korea, have recently established a regional emergency rice reserve. This chapter provides an overview of current practice of public stockholding in the case of Southeast Asian countries and explores association of food security with market-distorting schemes. It then goes on to examine the countervailing forces for trade liberalization and their likely impact by focusing on their effect on food security policies in the Philippines.

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