Capacities for Managing the Development of ASEAN Aquaculture
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Two core capacities are necessary to manage the development of any economic sector, e.g. fisheries. These are governance, in order that development is geared to the goals of society, directed towards those goals, and growth is orderly; and innovativeness, so that the resources are utilized with utmost effectiveness and efficiency, and producers have the ability to supply products in the quantity, reliability and form that meet market requirements, anticipate demand, and better yet, create demand. These two are linked: good governance provides a favorable environment as well as encouragement for science and technology -- and the brains that produce them -- to flourish; while innovations not only enhance the progress and welfare with new products, systems and processes but also support and facilitate better governance. In December 2015, full economic integration came into reality in the ASEAN with the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) which aspires to be a single market and production base, a highly competitive economic region, a region of equitable economic development, and a region fully integrated into the global economy (ASEAN, 2015). The aquaculture development strategies of the ASEAN Member States (AMSs) are aligned with such regional aspirations, but the question is whether the sector has the capacity to address the concerns over, meet the challenges of, and realize the aspirations for aquaculture development. Based on a review made by the author for an ASEAN-EU Project, this article provides positive indications of the region’s capabilities in sector management, and science and technology.