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Rural transformation is central to eliminating poverty and hunger. With approaches that include women, youth, and persons with different abilities in rural community activities, the often-overlooked potential of these groups can be leveraged for greater productivity and prosperity. Given the exceptionally broad range of peoples, cultures, and creeds in the Asia-Pacific region, fostering inclusive development, especially for rural communities, is of particular importance to APO members in their efforts to encourage sustainable growth.
To promote the involvement of disadvantaged social groups, the APO Secretariat held a virtual workshop on Inclusive Rural Development from 25 to 27 July to assist its members in benchmarking against good practices and policies supporting inclusive rural development. With speakers and facilitators from India, the ROK, and the Philippines, 33 participants representing 11 APO members discussed the trends and importance of inclusive rural development, examined the potential of social entrepreneurship and the roles of government, the private sector, and public–private partnerships in rural development initiatives, and learned from innovative examples and models for social inclusion and rural economic revitalization.
The participants proactively shared their observations on the issues and challenges that could be tackled to promote inclusive rural development, demonstrating the strong need for further conversations and implementation of strategies to deepen inclusivity aspects in rural development policies.