China to buy huge volumes of rice, rubber from Thailand


BANGKOK, Oct 14 – China has agreed to buy one million tonnes of rice and 200,000 tonnes of rubber from Thailand annually, Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said yesterday.

According to the initial memorandum of understanding (MoU), China would buy one million tonnes of rice from Thailand over five years, but the agreement was changed to one million tonnes annually.

Moreover, China would buy 200,000 tonnes of rubber from Thailand annually, she said.

Ms Yingluck said the revised agreement on government-to-government purchase of agricultural produce from Thailand was promised by Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang during his three-day visit to Thailand.

She said the purchase would not include rice contracts negotiated by the Thai private sector.

Deputy Prime Minister/Commerce Minister Niwatthamrong Boonsongpaisarn and Transport Minister Chatchart Suthiphan were assigned to conclude the purchases with China on the rice and rubber sales from Thailand, she said.

Regarding recent criticism by former deputy prime minister Pridiyathorn Devakula against the government’s rice pledging scheme, Ms Yingluck said the government would be willing to listen to information from all parties and is ready to explain it to the public.