M’sia proposes free, fair trade to overcome food security issue

MALAYSIA has proposed fair and free trade to world leaders as one of the actions to tackle the agri-food supply chain shortage issue.

Bayan Baru MP Sim Tze Tin said the shortage of food supply which leads to price hike is not only affecting Malaysia which depends on imported food, but also other countries as well.

He said the root of the problem is geopolitics, climate change and barriers due to war.

“This forum brings think tanks and world leaders to seat down together to find solutions for these challenges. Political leaders must serve the people, understand their struggle and appreciate quality of life of our people.

“Many children suffer from malnutrition and that is why we need to find solutions to this problem. Represented Malaysia, I suggested a few solutions (for this issue), he told Bernama when met after the Political Parties Plus Agricultural Cooperation Workshop on Thursday (Nov 9).

The workshop attended by leaders from Southeast Asian and South Asian countries was held at Yunnan Academy of Agricultural Science (VAAS), here.

Sim added that among the proposals was the need to strengthen collaboration among nations for the food supply each country needs.

“Every one of us depends on each other in terms of food. So when I proposed we need fair and free trade, it means free passage of vessels and so on, so that food can reach various places.

“Secondly, look at our competitive advantage…for example, Malaysia has the comparative advantage for palm oil, rubber, tropical fruits and seafood as such we should have global trade so that prices will be cheaper if we cooperate.”

Sim who is also the PR deputy strategy director said that to overcome the food shortage, Malaysia also needs to leverage its research and development (R&D) technology.

“In Malaysia we have Malaysia Agricultural Research and Development Institute (Mardi), Fisheries Research Institute (FRI), Rubber Research Institute (RI) and Malaysia Palm Oil Research Institute which are all well-known.

“We can share our knowledge with the world for a win win situation, just as they share knowledge with us, so that research is even more effective for all,” he further added.

Sim also hopes the workshop will strengthen collaboration among Malaysia, China as well as Southeast Asia and South Asia in terms of sharing ideas, research, knowledge and experiences.

The workshop was conducted by the Communist Party of China (CPC Dialogue with participation from Southeast Asian and South Asian countries. – Nov 10, 2023


Main photo credit: Malay Mail

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