Thailand plans to cooperate with Myanmar and other major global rice producers to increasing the bargaining power for Asean countries and sell the crop at a high price in the world market.
Also, Thailand will ask for Myanmar's cooperation in facilitating Thai investors who are keen to venture into that country.
Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom said that Thailand will urgently strengthen cooperation on rice trading as well as on investment to ensure closer cooperation between the two countries.
The proposals will be discussed during the upcoming Joint Trade Commission (JTC) to be held in Bangkok on November 2.
Boonsong said that he would discuss with Myanmar Commerce Minister U Win Myint collaboration on those issues to ensure sustainability of the rice-farming sector, boost farmers' incomes, as well as promote economic growth for both countries.
The move came after Thailand had already successfully persuaded other rice producers in Asean like Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia to strengthen cooperation on rice production and trading in the region.
Myanmar was the world's largest rice exporter during before 1980s. Its rice exports are projected to grow gradually since the opening up of the country. Also, there is plenty of land available to grow rice. According to a projection by the US Department of Agriculture, Myanmar will be able to export at least 600,000 tonnes of rice this year and up to 750,000 tonnes of rice next year.
In addition, Boonsong said that during the JTC, Thailand would ask for Myanmar's support to promote Thai investments in many key sectors. Sectors with investment potential are agro-industry, processed foods, fishery, textile and garments, construction materials and equipment, automobiles and parts, rubber and products. Many investors are eyeing Myanmar as a production base for exporting to third countries.
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