ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Thai rice for Iranian oil, mulled
"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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