Thailand has proposed that an ASEAN Rice Association be set up in order to increase the negotiating power of its members.
The Department of Foreign Trade under the Ministry of Commerce proposed the cartel at a recent conference joined by rice producers and exporters from five countries including Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam, and Thailand.

At the conference, Deputy Commerce Minister Yanyong Phuangrach said that the five countries should work together to gain a strong position in the global rice market, adding that the so-called ASEAN Rice Association should be established to increase their negotiating power.

Despite the fact that nearly two-thirds of the 30 million tonnes of rice traded each year around the globe come from these five Southeast Asian nations, the deputy minister said the countries are still beset with several obstacles, such as unstable prices of rice and unorganised inventory controls.

He added that by setting up the ASEAN Rice Association, all these problems will be eliminated as the move can stabilise the market and reduce the intensity of rice competitions in this region.-VNA