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Agricultural Biotechnology

Agricultural biotechnology is a revolutionary tool that could change the agriculture sector.

Through the science of agricultural biotechnology, crops can be made resistant to certain diseases, to stressful environmental conditions and to some chemicals. The technology can reduce spoilage and make produce more nutritious. It has the potential to spur economic growth, increase productivity, reduce hunger and malnutrition, and lessen the impact of agriculture on the environment.

APEC ministers and leaders recognize how important it is to communicate to the public the value of such produce, and how important it is to make sure that these products are safe. The APEC High Level Policy Dialogue on Agricultural Biotechnology (HLPDAB) is a recognition of this.

Through the HLPDAB, policymakers develop regulatory frameworks, facilitate technology transfers, encourage investment and strengthen public confidence in biotechnology in order to increase agricultural productivity and to protect the environment, with the ultimate objective of promoting food security.

The last HLPDAB plenary meeting, took place virtually in October 2020, and was hosted by Malaysia. Delegates shared information on the current situation on policies and development of products of new breeding techniques in APEC and non-APEC economies and ongoing work in international fora of interest to the HLPDAB. They discussed innovative agricultural technologies that can be useful tools to enhance agriculture productivity, sustainability, resilience and food security. They also encouraged development and for economies to maintain transparent, science- and risk-based regulations. They shared information and experiences in raising awareness of the benefits to farmers, consumers and the environment.

The next annual HLPDAB meeting will take place virtually in August 2021 and will be hosted by New Zealand.

HLPDAB Strategic Plan (2019–2021): This has three main objectives:

  1. Establish main mechanisms to ensure continued information exchange on economies’ experience with agricultural biotechnology and other innovative agricultural technologies
  2. Promote transparent, science-based and functioning regulatory systems to support the development, application and trade of innovative agricultural technologies and biotechnologies for the benefit of APEC member economies
  3. Facilitate the management of regulatory differences by endeavoring to develop solutions to global challenges with respect to innovative agricultural technologies—including trade-related issues—and improve the ability of APEC economies to communicate effectively about these issues

Cross-cutting issues: The HLDAB has identified cross-cutting issues on food security, climate-smart agriculture, trade facilitation/eliminating market barriers and making the best use of natural resources with the Agricultural Technical Cooperation Working Group (ATCWG) and the Policy Partnership on Food Security (PPFS). The HLDAB shall identify and share relevant policy recommendations with both groups with a view to contribute to the preparation of the Food Security Ministerial agenda. The dialogue will also look into possible cross-fora collaboration in conducting APEC projects with relevant fora.

Upcoming events:

  • harnessing 25 years of agricultural biotech experiences: policy approaches to promote the adoption, commercialization, and trade of innovative agricultural technologies 21-23 july
  • HLPDAB Plenary meeting 3 Aug

For HLPDAB Projects see the APEC Project Database:

For HLPDAB Plenary meeting see the APEC Meeting Document Database:

Last page update: June 2021


Dr John Roche
HLPDAB 2021 Coordinator
[email protected]
PHAM Tu Uyen (Ms)
Program Director