China to ink deal for 1.2 million tonnes of Thai rice: Commerce Minister

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China has pledged to buy 1.2 million tonnes of Thai rice, along with another several hundred thousand tonnes of agricultural produce with the contracts to be inked in this month, Thai commerce minister Niwatthamrong Boonsongpaisarn said on Sunday.

Mr Niwatthamrong announced the deal after his visit to the People’s Republic of China last week.

Apart from the one million tonnes of Thai rice, the minister said, China will also buy 300,000 tonnes of cassava and another 200,000 tonnes of rubber.

He said the contracts will be inked this month with two state enterprises and the delivery of all produce is expected to be complete within a year.

Mr Niwatthamrong said he has invited Chinese entrepreneurs to invest in the agri produce processing industry in Thailand.

The commerce minister is scheduled to visit Russia next week seeking to expand Thailand’s agriproduce trade.