10th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Rural Development and Poverty Eradication

“Rural Transformation: Enhancing Human Capital towards a Resilient Rural Community”

6 October 2017, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Key Messages

  1. The challenges being faced by ASEAN today are different and more complicated compared with the challenges 50 years ago. The deepening global integration of markets and supply chains, and the rapid acceleration of technological advancement, among others, underscore the necessity for nations to work together. The interdependence of countries are reflected in the interlinked policies on defence and food security, and the presence of multinational businesses whose value chains are located in multiple countries.
  1. To meet the challenges, it is imperative for ASEAN to undertake the transformation of rural communities and build resilience. ASEAN has made significant strides in lessening poverty in the region. However, more needs to be done in reaching out to those who persistently experience poverty. More investment is needed not only in infrastructure but even more importantly in human capital. More jobs need to be generated, and skills need to be developed and upgraded, for people to be employable especially the youth. Also, infrastructure development in ASEAN, especially in the rural areas, needs to be hastened in order to bring basic services such as clean drinking water and electricity to the people.
  1. Rapid urbanisation has widened the divide between urban and rural areas. The fast pace of urbanisation, and the laggard growth in rural areas, have led to rural-urban Such migration has led to an increase in the population in urban areas, which in turn imposes higher demand on basic services. It is imperative to spur and sustain inclusive growth in the rural areas to generate economic opportunities. It is pivotal that we build capacities and enabling environment for the people as they are the most important factor of development.
  1. Transforming the rural areas require the physical and economic development as well as enhancing human capital which is the main engine of growth. The development of infrastructures can lead to an increase in economic activities in the rural areas, which in turn would translate into higher income for the rural population. This can be combined with education and skills enhancement, as well as capacity building for rural communities, to enable rural populations to be resilient to current and emerging challenges.