The 3rd instalment of the Connecting Civil Society’s conference aimed to prepare a report on an economic and social agenda for the future of ASEM based on expert analyses and multi-stakeholder consultation. The conference brought together over 50 international participants from the government, NGOs, the academe, the media, and research sectors, including the Asia-Europe Business Forum and the Asia-Europe People’s Forum members.
– Food and environmental security: Sharp rises in food prices and constraints on food supply have uncovered the vulnerability of global agriculture. The mixed outcomes of biofuels utilization is a relatively new subject field and the consequences for climate change mitigation and food security need to be investigated. Have subsidies and policy incentives to promote biofuels as an alternative to fossil fuels caused a drop in food production and the consequent rise in prices? After the UN and the international community’s immediate measures to respond to food emergency, what necessary policy adjustments need to be made?
– Energy and oil: Oil prices have been increasing at an alarming rate over the past four years, and the growing instability of the market hark back to the oil crises of the 70s and 80s, evoking fear of the subsequent financial insecurity. How does the surge in oil prices contribute to the impending convergence of emergencies in the world economy and environment?
– Financial market turbulence: The crisis in the US financial markets reverberates in Asia and Europe. Can we expect further disturbances? Are we headed toward another financial crisis little over a decade after the Asian crisis in 1997? Should we put the brakes on policies that advance market integration?