1. The ASEAN Economic Ministers discussed the important issue of food security, and especially noted with concern the current high prices of rice, caused by factors such as increased demand; increased cost of inputs; decreased land devoted to agriculture; and temporary disruptions such as poor weather conditions and plant disease. The Ministers expressed concern that the longer-term shortage of rice supply might have an adverse impact on the economies of ASEAN Member States.

2. The Ministers affirmed that access to adequate and reliable supply of rice, and stable prices are fundamental to the region’s economic and social well-being.

3. The Ministers agreed that effective responses would require a broad range of measures. The Ministers recognised the importance of creating suitable and favourable conditions to increase productivity through, among others, effective transfer of technology, research and development, increase in agricultural land, and substantially increased public and private investment.

4. The Ministers pledged to continue fair trade practices and to achieve an orderly regional rice trade.