Australian Embassy

Media release - 23/09/2015

Australia supports regional agribusiness partnerships for inclusive growth


Today, Australian Ambassador Hugh Borrowman, together with Vietnam’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat, officially opened the Roundtable on Inclusive Agribusiness in South East Asia.

The roundtable, funded by the Australian Government and held in Ho Chi Minh City on 23-24 September, brings together private sector, civil society, agricultural organization and government leaders from across the region to share inclusive business solutions and explore new market opportunities to support smallholder farmers from across ASEAN to increase their income and promote food security.

The roundtable will build on the World Economic Forum (WEF)’s Grow Asia initiative by strengthening existing networks, sharing knowledge, inspiring new research and collaborations and exploring practical and innovative solutions to the challenges of growing agribusinesses in Southeast Asia that are inclusive of smallholder farmers and small businesses.

“Innovative public-private partnerships, such as those being pioneered by Grow Asia, are critical to boosting agricultural productivity and building the foundations for sustainable and inclusive economic growth across the region”, said the Australian Ambassador at the roundtable.

“Australia is proud to be working closely with the Government of Vietnam and other ASEAN partners to connect business innovators with farmers, researchers and development practitioners, to support the shared goal of reducing poverty and ensuring a prosperous and food-secure future”, he added.

Grow Asia, launched in April 2015, is a regional partnership developed by the World Economic Forum in collaboration with the ASEAN Secretariat, and funded jointly by the Australian and Canadian Governments. It aims to promote new inclusive agribusiness investment across ASEAN and foster greater regional cooperation to increase by 20 per cent the productivity, profitability and environmental sustainability of 10 million regional smallholder farmers. Central to achieving this goal is generating innovative approaches to value chain development and scaling up successful models.

Australia recognizes that innovation is critical to reducing poverty and food insecurity, boosting agricultural productivity and building the foundations for sustainable economic growth. Besides the social and environmental benefits, there is growing evidence that businesses which adopt sustainable and inclusive practices will outperform their competitors.

Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has highlighted the critical role of the private sector in achieving growth and prosperity for the region. A key focus of the new Strategy for Australia’s aid investments in agriculture, fisheries and water is to enhance the impact of Australian aid through leveraging business partnerships and investment.

The roundtable was co-organised by Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, WEF’s Grow Asia initiative, Australia’s CSIRO, the University of Wageningen’s Centre for Development Innovation and the Global Donor Platform, with funding and support from the Australian Government and Vietnam\'s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

For further information, please contact:

Ms Vu Binh Chau, Communication Officer, Australian Embassy at Tel: 04 3774 0216 or Email: [email protected]