Abdullah Urges Cooperation In Improving Asia Food Security

May 23, 2008

TOKYO (Nikkei)--Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi called on East Asian nations to work together in tackling food security problems, at an international conference in Tokyo on Friday.

In a keynote speech at The Future of Asia forum organized by Nikkei Inc., Abdullah said this year "is turning out to be a particularly trying year for East Asia," referring to the cyclone in Myanmar, the earthquake in China and other hardships afflicting people in the region.

He also said East Asian nations are experiencing inflation and that "the price of food, especially rice, is at an all-time high in nearly all countries."

The prime minister said, "Cooperating in and facilitating the supply of rice among ASEAN members would be a priority" in joint disaster management efforts, proposing such measures as "the strengthening of the Asian food security reserve and the East Asia emergency rice reserve involving the ASEAN Plus Three dialogue partners."

Titles of speakers, names of companies, etc., were correct as of the time when the forum was held.