Thailand targets Vietnam in ASEAN rice firm bid

Thailand has unveiled a plan to hold talks with Vietnam on the establishment of a rice trading firm of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Thai Minister of Commerce Porntiva Nakasai was quoted by Bangkok Post Daily on August 5 as saying she would discuss the plan with her Vietnamese counterpart at an upcoming ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM) meeting scheduled to take place in Vietnam from August 20-27.

She added that her counterparts from Laos and Cambodia have asked Thailand and Vietnam, the world’s two biggest rice exporters, to play a key role in the scheme, reported the daily website.

The initiative was raised by Thailand at an AEM meeting held in Bangkok in 2009, calling on major rice exporters in the 10-member grouping to join in to boost trade and stabilize prices of the regional staple.

Porntiva said the plan has been delayed due to a shortage of rice reserves and rice mills in some countries.

She reiterated her intention to put forward the issues at the upcoming AEM meeting in Vietnam, in order to materialize the scheme.

ASEAN groups Brunei, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam.

Source: VietnamPlus

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