By accelerating the process of harmonisation, the ASEAN Food and Beverage Alliance (AFBA) has the opportunity to create a “win-win-win” situation for ASEAN Governments, citizens and the food industry. This was a key message highlighted in a new AFBA video, which was first presented on 20 August during the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit 2013 (ASEAN BIS 2013).

Illustrating how the lack of harmonisation has a major impact on the region’s economic growth and competitiveness, the video also demonstrates that a common set of food standards will yield benefits for all stakeholders in ASEAN.

It highlights that with harmonisation for standards such as nutrition labelling and new product registrations, there is an opportunity to increase the choice of affordable, accessible and nutritious food to the 650 million citizens in the region.

A common set of standards based on a mutual recognition system can also remove the remaining technical barriers to trade and help ease the movement of food between countries in the region. The video illustrates that this will help boost ASEAN’s economic prosperity and strengthen the region’s growth.

FIA Policy Director, Melanie Vilarasau Slade said the video was created to provide viewers with a simplified understanding of the benefits of harmonisation in the region. She added that it also illustrates how AFBA can assist in facilitating the process of harmonising standards in the region.

“Although great progress has already been made in the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), the lack of harmonisation in the region – including in the food industry – is affecting regional growth and economic competitiveness.

“This video highlights how harmonisation can help facilitate food trade in the region to deliver safer and a more diverse range of food to people in ASEAN. It also showcases how, as the leading representative of food and beverage companies in the region, AFBA recognises the perils of fragmentation for the food industry and seeks to work with all stakeholders to create a shared vision for the mutual recognition of food standards.

“Through this video, we hope to convey AFBA’s message regarding the benefits of a joined up approach between the public and private sector and how accelerating harmonisation can help unlock the food industry’s growth potential and the region’s economic integration goals,” Ms Vilarasau Slade said.

The video will be showcased on the newly launched AFBA website.

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