Thai rice exporters are confused, not knowing whether to believe the government's latest claim of a huge rice deal with China, and the parliamentary opposition is also demanding proof.
So just how reliable is Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s claim that China has committed to buy one million tonnes of rice and 200,000 tonnes of rubber annually from Thailand for an indefinite period through government-to-government deals?
The claim of revised rice and rubber deals with China came one day after visiting Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang told the Thai parliament on Friday that China agreed in principle to buy one million tonnes of rice and 200,000 tonnes of rubber over a five-year period through private deals with exporters. A memorandum of understanding based on this was signed the same day.
So instead of reassuring people, the prime minister’s claim the following day of a sweetened government-to-government deal has served only to confuse rice exporters and the opposition Democrats.
The lingering questions in the minds of the doubters are: How is possible that China suddenly revised the figures only one day after the signing of the MoU? When was the meeting between the two prime ministers which led to Prime Minister Li becoming more generous and agreeing to buy more rice and rubber from Thailand by G-to-G deals?
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