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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs    28 August  2012

Thai rice for Iranian oil, mulled


Thailand mulled barter trade with Iran to avoid the consequence of the United States economic sanction against Tehran's nuclear ambition, Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul said.

"Trade between Thailand and Iran could not increase for long time because of the sanction," he said, "so we have to try other alternative ways to boost our economic relations."

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi agreed in a bilateral meeting with Surapong on the idea and would study possibility to have barter trade with Thailand.

Surapong said Thailand would exchange rice with Iran's oil and gas since Tehran demanded more than a million ton of rice annually while Thailand was seeking cheap petroleum for domestic energy consumption.

"I think, such trade arrangement would have no problem with the US sanction since we don't conduct money transaction through any American entity," he said.

"The American should have sympathy on this issue. Iranian needs rice for consumption while Thailand, which has no sufficient petroleum resource, wants energy," Surapong said.

Thailand and Iran would intensively discuss the issue during the next Joint Commission meeting in Tehran soon, he said.

Iran consumes some 3.5 million tonnes of long grain rice annually but could produce only 2.5 million tonnes per annum, Surapong said.

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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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