Commerce Minister visits Hong Kong for cooperation

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HONG KONG, 18 January 2015 – The Thai Minster of Commerce is on a business trip visiting Hong Kong to enhance the trade cooperation and push forward the ASEAN – Hong Kong FTA framework to be completed by 2016.

The Minster of Commerce Gen. Chatchai Sarikulya has revealed his official meeting with the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development of Hong Kong Gregory So, that he is satisfied with the meeting’s outcome.

He has said that both sides have agreed to extend the trade cooperation and exchanged beneficial comments for trade developments in the future, especially for the ASEAN – Hong Kong Free Trade Area (FTA) agreement, which Thailand is appointed as the coordinating country to push the FTA framework forward towards the targeted time in the year 2016.

The ASEAN – Hong Kong FTA will benefit ASEAN countries in the inclusion of utilizing the trade gateway of Hong Kong to mainland China free of tax, while Hong Kong can extend its trade and investment to the ASEAN market that houses 600 million residents.

The Thai Minister has said that the Ministry of Commerce has settled the strategies and plans to extend the Thai rice exports to the Hong Kong market through various strains of rice to comply with the individual demands in Hong Kong.

For example, the Hom Mali Rice is aimed for the domestic consumption market through modern trade, and the Hom Patum Rice is aimed for restaurants and hotels market, while the organic rice will be introduced to the younger generations.

In this occasion, the Minster of Commerce has given the Best Friend of Thai Rice Award to the seven Hong Kong rice importers that have imported Thai rice in the past ten years.

He has also stressed that the Thai government is aware of the Hong Kong market’s importance to Thai rice, and will control the quality of rice exports to be high in accordance with demand of consumers in Hong Kong.