BANGKOK, 11 May 2015 – Government Spokesperson Yongyuth Mayalarp has affirmed that Thai rice is still competitive in the world market despite the rising price while saying the government will seek more chances to forge rice trade agreements with foreign partners.
In response to the private sector’s concerns over the rising price of Thai rice, Mr Yongyuth insisted that the Prime Minister is not being complacent and has instructed the Ministry of Commerce to look into the issue. He said it has been reported by the Foreign Trade Department that the increasing output from major competitors like Vietnam and India has caused their prices to be lower than that of Thai grains. Moreover, Thailand’s shortfall in production due to drought and the baht appreciation have also driven the price up.
Mr Yongyuth noted, nonetheless, that high-quality rice is still in high demand and Thai farmers should use this opportunity to upgrade their production and grain quality in order to fetch higher prices.
The spokesman also said the premier has persuaded foreign leaders to purchase Thai rice on many occasions and will continue to do so while Commerce Minister Gen Chatchai Sarikalya has been leading rice exporters on overseas trips to organize marketing campaigns and sales activities.
As the Thailand Rice Convention 2015 is scheduled to take place from May 19 to 21, Mr Yongyuth expects the event to serve as another important stage for entrepreneurs to showcase Thai rice and its high quality to participating traders from around the world.