Mekong Institute (MI), with support from the New Zealand Aid Programme, launched an online regional training program on Food Safety for Market Access on June 21, 2021.
Delivering the welcome remarks, Ms. Maria Theresa S. Medialdia, MI Director of Agricultural Development and Commercialization, encouraged participants to apply the knowledge they will gain from the course in their line of work to broaden agri-food market access capacities of stakeholders in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Vietnam (CLMV).
She also echoed findings of the ASEAN COVID-19 impact assessment on agriculture and food trade that good regulatory practices, critical infrastructure development, better connectivity, and human capital development are crucial to launch CLMV as global players in safe, sustainable, inclusive and resilient food value chain.
To contribute to these goals, MI’s five-day training program was designed to improve knowledge and understanding on the World Trade Organization’s Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) and Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Agreements (WTO SPS/TBT) related to trade in agri-food; equip participants with knowledge to access credible information on food safety market requirements; and strengthen knowledge and awareness on the need for an effective NQI policy and strategies to support compliance with agri-food SPS/TBT requirements.
These objectives are delivered under the PROSAFE project, which seeks to strengthen technical support and scale-up regional and local capacity building initiatives to further promote food safety in CLMV. The project also engages key actors from the public and private sectors to put into place an integrated mechanism leading toward significant changes in food safety control system in the region.
It also contributes to the ASEAN trade in goods and agreement (ATIGA) and helps facilitate trade between and among member states while protecting human, animal, and plant life or health, as well as strengthening cooperation among ASEAN member states in this area.
This activity is the second of a series of food safety training programs organized by MI in 2021.