Theme I : Future of Agribusiness in Asia and the Pacific.

Small and Medium agribusiness have been considered as the key elements of economic development in developing countries, especially after the Asian economic crisis. In light of free trade regulations, adaptive strategies for small-medium agribusiness enterprises in the strong competitive markets become necessary. One strategy is to be able to link the rural enterprises with international export market. The session aims to provide abroad spectrum of agribusiness in economic development, and to examine the impacts of regional trade agreement such as AFTA on agribusiness development. The potential for bridging the gap between the community rural enterprise and export market is exemplified by the case of Thailand. The collaborative effort to promote agribusiness development in the region will also be highlighted.

Theme II : Agribusiness experiences in developed and developing countries.

A number of successful cases from selected developed countries will be presented to illustrate elements of success in agribusiness development. The aim is to provide learning experiences for the developing countries where agribusiness is moving on the direction of economic development. The session on the developed countries will then be followed by the cases of developing countries in Asia and the Pacific, where agribusiness is becoming high priority on the national economic development agenda, but where any infrastructures necessary for agribusiness development are not fully in place. The aim is to provide a forum for sharing experiences so that certain policy measures and management strategies can be identified from the presentation.

Theme III : Trends in agribusiness education and research and human resources in agribusiness.

The session will examine the trends in education and research in agribusiness among various institutions that help prepare qualified human resources for the needs. The discussion will cover the University degree programs and the non-degree continuing education programs for the professionals, that seek to strengthen business management skills. The contributions of agricultural economics in agribusiness curriculum will also be specified in the context of developing countries to meet future needs in human resource development. The proper training programs in agribusiness management to bridge the gap between small farm producers or cooperatives and export opportunity, and on the lessons learnt from previous themes, will also be examined.

Theme IV: The poster presentation on research and education in agribusiness.

Selected posters illustrating contemporary agribusiness research issues and findings, agribusiness curriculum in various institutions, and future collaboration in agribusiness research and training will be displayed in the symposium complex.