Recently there has been a growing realization that agricultural development can not be successful without good management on the part of all stakeholders, including farmers, buyers, processors, retailers, and others

Business management is a significant factor in gearing the agricultural sector to it's overall development needs. The history of agricultural development in Thailand has witnessed a greater emphasis on high production than on business management.
Unfortunately, there-in lies the paradox, that farmers have continuously been confronted with market problems, despite Thailand's reputation as a major exporter of agricultural commodities.
The gap between the producers' failures and successful exportation is a serious contradiction, which is difficult to solve without streamlining business management in the whole system.
Thailand and other countries in the region are still lagging behind in thoughtful development of human resources in the agribusiness branch. The major cause behind this is that the countries' development programs overwhelmingly stressed non-agricultural sectors during the past two decades.
However, after the economic crisis in 1997, as in the case of Thailand, the agricultural sector has been brought back into developmental consideration again. The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives (MOAC) is most concerned about integrating production, and marketing arrangement, into developmental plans, programs and projects, reading to the agricultural sector supporting sustainable development of the country in the future.
Therefore, it is necessary for the countries in the region to pay due attention to the development of high quality personnel, so as to streamline production and management, thereby overcoming the problems which have occurred from the past and into the present.
The symposium is expected to be of value to Thailand and other Asian countries that cope with similar problems, by bringing to light a wide range of experiences, opinions and ideas about the agribusiness sector.
In pursuance of this, Chiang Mai University (CMU) of Thailand, and National Chung Hsing University (NCHU) of Taiwan, have mutually agreed on sharing experiences and developing human resources, in the agribusiness field, through academic processes, research and seminars.
This International Symposium on Agribusiness Management towards Strengthening Agricultural Development and Trade (ISAM) is one part of the cooperation. The Council of Agriculture of Taiwan supports the cooperation, and Thailand's MOAC has also welcomed such regional initiatives, and thus has provided financial support to this Symposium.
The organizing personnel of the International Symposium would like to extend their most gracious and sincere thanks to His Serene Highness Prince Bhisatej for opening the symposium, and to all of the sponsors, speakers, participants, and staffs who made the event possible.
The many hours of diligent work expended both in front of and behind the scenes, before, during, and after the event by all concerned, have collectively made the symposium both highly successful, and of immense value to the countries involved. In presenting this printed book of transcripts of the speeches and debates, and in supplying the accompanying compact disk, the organizers have attempted to adhere to the original writing styles of the contributors as far as possible.