ASEAN-Japan Cooperation Project for Human Resource Development in Food-related Areas through Partnership with Universities in ASEAN Region

22 January 2015

    On 14 January, the Opening Ceremony and Symposium “ASEAN-Japan Cooperation Project for Human Resource Development in Food-related Areas through Partnership with Universities in ASEAN Region” was co-hosted in Jakarta by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan (MAFF) and ASEAN Secretariat.

    The project was a part of the efforts to promote cooperation on food value chain from farmers to consumers through collaboration between public and private sectors, which is stipulated in the “Implementation Plan of the Vision Statement on ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation” adopted at the ASEAN-Japan Commemorative Summit Meeting held in December 2013. The project will be implemented for the next three years, providing advanced and practical lectures for university students in the ASEAN region with the support from Japanese food-related companies.

    The total number of participants to the symposium was approximately 200, which included Dr. Anas Miftah Fauzi, Vice Rector for research and Collaboration, Bogor Agricultural University, Mr. Koichi Aiboshi, Ambassador of Japan to ASEAN, members of Committee of Permanent Representatives (CPR), representatives from ASEAN Secretariat and ministries related to agriculture as well as those from private sectors.

    Ambassador Aiboshi stated in his opening remarks that he was certain that this project would enhance capacities of human resources in the ASEAN region in order to increase added value of its food-related industries, while it would enable Japanese companies in the region to utilize highly skilled personnel. He said he expected that this project would be beneficial to both Japan and ASEAN.

    In the symposium, Mr. Tadaatsu Iwase, Deputy Director-General of Food Industry Affairs Bureau, MAFF delivered a keynote speech on “ASEAN-Japan Partnership in the Food Value Chain and Food Industry" and Mr. Masanori Kawaguchi, Project Coordinator at ASEAN Secretariat made a presentation on "Introduction of the ASEAN-Japan Cooperation Project", Dr. Pontiano S. Intar, Jr., Senior Economist, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) delivered a speech on “Value chain - Impact to agricultural and economic development in the ASEAN region."

    After the presentation of ceremonial plaque from ASEAN Secretariat and MAFF Japan to Bogor Agricultural University, Dr. Arief Daryanto, Professor at Graduate Program of Management and Business, Bogor Agricultural University gave a presentation on “Introduction of Partnership Program at Bogor Agricultural University." Moreover, representatives of sponsors of the project such as ASEAN Food Industries Human Resource Development Association, Kirin Holdings Company, Ltd and Megmilk Snow Brand Co. Ltd made brief presentations. They actively exchanged views with the participants during the symposium.

    After the symposium, a Japanese cuisine reception was held, and the participants enjoyed original dishes featuring Japan's four seasons.

    A series of university lectures will start in April at the Bogor Agricultural University, and similar activities will be undertaken in Thailand and Malaysia this year. It is expected that the project will be expanded to other ASEAN member countries.