Accelerating Harmonisation in ASEAN 

The ASEAN Food and Beverage Alliance (AFBA) will be officially launched in Singapore on 18 April 2013, signalling the next phase of the food industry’s commitment to help public sector partners accelerate the harmonisation of food standards across ASEAN.

The official launch, held in conjunction with the FIA Annual General Meeting, will see representatives from national food and beverage associations come together with senior figures in ASEAN to officially mark the establishment of the Alliance.

Bev Postma, Executive Director of FIA said AFBA will play a critical role as the industry’s primary interface with policy makers in ASEAN.

“AFBA is a dedicated vehicle for driving harmonisation across southeast Asia and provides a voice for the food industry at the policy table. We believe this group will help the industry to align and deliver input and guidance on ASEAN policies, which in turn will unlock the growth potential for intra-and extra-regional trade in food products. The official launch marks a significant step forward for the whole region,” she said.

AFBA will be governed by an Executive Board comprising the elected leaders of major food and beverage Associations in each of the ten ASEAN Members States. Two seats will be held exclusively by recognised SME groups in the region who will play a leading role in the Alliance.

The launch of AFBA follows the inaugural meeting of the AFBA Executive Board on 23 January in Singapore, where the structure and strategic direction of AFBA, as well as its key objectives were formally agreed.

During the inaugural meeting, the Executive Board highlighted that AFBA is an effective platform to represent the industry’s interests including the needs of less developed markets. The Board outlined the importance of listening and responding to the needs of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the broader harmonisation process to help meet the ambitious goal of the ASEAN Economic Community.

Newly-elected Co-Chair of AFBA, Hendro Poedjono said: “There is a clear ambition for the food industry to support AFBA and its strategic priorities towards the goal of an ASEAN Single Market by 2015. Following the launch in April, AFBA will engage proactively with the ASEAN Prepared Foodstuff Product Working Group (PFPWG) and other Committees to provide technical guidance on the harmonisation priorities.

“Over the next two years, we look forward to seeing all parties working together to agree on priorities that will help to accelerate the removal of technical barriers to trade and unleash the full growth potential of the food industry in ASEAN,” he said.

AFBA will be launched at a VIP cocktail reception on 18 April, at 7:00 pm at Traders Hotel, in Singapore. If you wish to attend the event, please contact the AFBA Secretariat via to register your interest.