The Italian Embassy in Thailand and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) organized a seminar focusing on sustainable production and consumption 

Italy and Asean's forum on sustainability

On March 29, The Embassy of Italy in Bangkok organised a seminar, in collaboration with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), focusing on sustainable production and consumption, food waste, the circular economy and development. 

The Forum on “Sustainable Production and Consumption, Best Practices and Ideas from Italy and ASEAN”, was moderated by Nattavud Pimpa, Chair in Sustainability at Mahidol University in Bangkok. The Forum was introduced by Gabriella Biondi, Central Director for the Countries of Asia and the Pacific, and Usana Berananda, Director-General of the ASEAN Department of ASEAN Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand

In her presentation, Ms Berananda spoke of Thailand’s bio-circular and green model, which is based on the sufficiency economy philosophy conceived by King Rama IX after the financial crisis of 1997. 

A map of the member countries of ASEAN
A map of the member countries

Issues addressed at the event included: the reduction of food waste, raising the awareness of school and university students on the adoption of new production and consumption paradigms, and sustainable production by innovative companies. Lastly, a group of Indonesian researchers presented a study on the transformation of consumption patterns among young people in some ASEAN countries. 

The event was closed by the Ambassador of Italy in Bangkok, Lorenzo Galanti. He underscored that the presentations and discussion had highlighted the key role played by the private sector, not just in identifying opportunities and innovative technologies to tackle the issue of waste but also in contributing, along with civil society organisations, to the creation of an informed market. 

The Italian Ambassador to Thailand, Lorenzo Galanti
The Italian Ambassador to Thailand, Lorenzo Galanti

According to the Italy-ASEAN Association, which aims to promote closer relations between Italy and the countries of Southeast Asia, “today trade between Italy and ASEAN member countries is very low”.  

Yet, there are many “entrepreneurial success stories linked to the presence of Italian companies in ASEAN countries”. In order for its presence to be increasingly relevant and incisive, therefore, Italy needs a greater and better coordinated presence of Italian institutions and companies in South Asia, and a spirit of initiative that the Italian Embassy in Bangkok demonstrated by organizing last week’s event.