Thailand stresses its role as world food producer, insurer of food reserves

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VLADIVOSTOK, Sept 9 – Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra underscored Thailand’s role as the world’s food production and food reserve at the final retreat of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Russia.

Ms Yingluck visited Vladivostok yesterday and today for the 20th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting. During Sunday’s retreat, entitled “Ensuring Food Security and Encouraging Innovative Growth”, she stated that Thailand, as the world’s top food producer and exporter, will play an important role in addressing threats to food security.

The prime minister also stressed Thailand’s role as the world’s food production house and its readiness to reach out to those in need in times of emergencies and crises, not only by providing food but also through other forms of emergency assistance, to countries in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.

She encouraged APEC economies to work together in research and development on environmentally friendly food production. She also promoted innovation in post-harvest management and logistics to ensure sufficient food delivery and efficient food storage, according to the official website of the Thai government.

Ms Yingluck reiterated Thailand’s commitment to promoting fair and open trade in food to ensure that people have sufficient access to quality food at fair prices at all times.

She supported the sharing of reliable current information on production, consumption, and food reserves in order to limit the impact of food price volatility.

Ms Yingluck advised G20 members to focus on being united and becoming transparent while dealing with management matters, as well being committed to strengthen international monetary system and international financial institutions, including improving social concerns to further help other less developed and developing countries.

Meanwhile, Ms Yingluck said she expected the Thai economy to grow 5.5-6.5 per cent this year, while her administration is spending US$11 billion budget now on water management and sustainable flood prevention. The government is also speeding up on its US$74 billion development project on infrastructure on energy, telecommunication, and communication.

Thailand proposed itself as host of the next APEC meeting in 2022. The premier and her delegates arrived Bangkok Sunday evening.

The prime minister said after the meeting that the leaders agreed that free trade should not be obstructed by trading measures. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the important chain to drive the economy. New innovations will help them improve their production efficiency.