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July 19, 2008

Vietnam, Thailand to forge rubber cooperation
Vietnam and Thailand, two major rubber producers and exporters in the world, will cooperate on rubber-related manpower development, scientific research and information exchange, the Vietnam Agriculture newspaper reported on Friday.

During a meeting between deputy ministers of agriculture of Vietnam and Thailand on July 17 in Vietnam's southern Ho Chi Minh City, the two sides also said they would join hands in accelerating transport and trade of rubber, as well as manufacture of rubber-based industrial products such as tires, tubes and mattresses.

Thailand is now the world's biggest rubber producer with an annual output of over 3 million tons, and Vietnam ranks the third in export, the fifth in output and the sixth in acreage, the newspaper quoted the Vietnam Rubber Association as reporting.

Vietnam exported 228,000 tons of rubber worth $574 million, mainly to China, South Korea, Japan, and the United States in the first half of this year, down 19.8 percent in volume but up 7.2 percent in value against the same period last year, according to the country's General Statistics Office.

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