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Food exports likely to grow 10% in 2008


May 9, 2008

Food exports likely to grow 10% in 2008

Food exports are expected to expand at least 10 percent this year due in particular to an increased international demand for the agricultural commodities, especially rice and processed cassava, according to a senior official of the Department of Export Promotion (DEP).

DEP director-general Rachane Pojanasunthorn said that Thailand's exports of processed food and farm products is likely to grow rather considerably this year.

In the first quarter of the year (January-March), exports surged 31. 4 percent with a total value of $6.72 billion with the shipment of foods and processed ingredients having promising prospects.

Earlier, the department set a target for food export growth this year at no less than 4 percent, but as the demand for food products including rice and cassava had significantly increased, it believed the food export would grow at least 10 percent this year.

Rachane said the department had also joined with Thai restaurants worldwide to promote the Thai cuisine-themed restaurant business growth. At present, there are up to 13,000 Thai restaurants overseas. DEP has targeted increasing the number to 15,000 by the end of this year.

To upgrade Thai restaurants to meet international standards recognition among consumers around the world, he said, the department had gradually issued certifications recognising the individual restaurant's achievement of Thai food quality standards to around one thousand restaurants. The number is expected to increase to 1,300 and 1,500 in the near future, he said.

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