Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Friday said that protracted global imbalances, upward pressure on commodity prices, and the fallout from natural disasters and climate change are the most daunting challenges that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) members must address, the Jakarta Post reported here.
The future challenges were cited by Yudhoyono in his speech marking the opening of the 15th ASEAN finance ministers meeting in Nusa Dua of Bali province.
“There should be a concerted coordination among ASEAN members and the setting up of a global surveillance system to address the future challenges. ASEAN needs to be adaptive and responsive to these challenges,” said Yudhoyono.
Among the imminent impacts of these challenges, he said, was the vulnerability of food and energy security.
Instabilities in the Middle East have caused oil prices to rise above 100 U.S. dollars per barrel, while weather uncertainties have undermined productivity in the agriculture sector.
Because of the unprecedented weather patterns, Indonesia has seen a disruption in its rice self-sufficiency program this year, and is planning to import to meet demand.