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NEWS UPDATES 23 August 2010

Asean rice alliance formed

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The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) has formed a rice millers' alliance, to strengthen production and stabilise the prices of rice exported from Asean.

The initiative will strengthen the role of millers, middlemen in the rice production process. The effort taps the capacities of rice millers among Asean members that produce 25 percent of the world's total output of 448 million tonnes and supply up to 65 percent of the world’s 29-million-tonne global rice trade. Two of the group's members, Thailand and Vietnam, rank one and two, respectively, as the world’s biggest rice exporters.

The move comes after Asean removed the import tariffs on many farm products including rice. The six original Asean member countries: Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines and Brunei have applied the plan since the start of this year.

The other four members: Burma, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, will join the zero-tariff program in 2015.

This was confirmed by heads

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