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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs  6 March 2014  

China's COFCO to buy 1 mln tonnes of rice from Thailand
China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Corporation (COFCO) today agreed to buy one million tonnes of rice from Thailand, according to Thailand's Foreign Trade Department.
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed by COFCO and the Foreign Trade Department. The move was aimed to release rice in the Thai government's stockpiles and to increase the proportion of Thai rice in China.
COFCO is one of China's state-owned food processing holding companies.
Foreign Trade Department's director-general Surasak Riengkrue said department representatives were in China yesterday and today for rice purchase negotiations and closer trading relations between the two parties.   
The meeting was a success, he said, for the MoU was signed, with rice to be shipped to China in a series of shipments within 12 months. The first lot of rice is to be transported from March to July at 400,000 tonnes, with the end of March aiming at 100,000 tonnes of rice to be delivered.
Mr Surasak said this MoU is a positive sign that China shows interests to buy more rice from Thailand.
The Foreign Trade Department will promote and invite Thai rice entrepreneurs to offer rice prices and improve rice quality to deliver to COFCO soonest as stated in the contract.
He added that Thailand is negotiating with other countries to sell more rice and expected to succeed in signing government-to-government agreements with several more countries.
The department also plans to release rice by inviting interested entrepreneurs to offer bids to buy rice in the government's stockpiles next Monday at 500,000 tonnes.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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