Thailand will ask for Vietnam's cooperation to help set up a joint Asean Federation for Rice Millers and Rice Traders in a bid to increase bargaining power for Asean countries and stabilise rice prices.
The plan comes after the Thai government recently proposed an initiative for rice cooperation with Myanmar and other rice producers in the region.
Government spokeswoman Sansanee Nakpong said the proposal will be raised during a cabinet retreat between Thailand and Vietnam in Hanoi slated for next Saturday.
At the retreat, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra will meet with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.
Earlier, Vietnam agreed in principle to rice cooperation at the first meeting of the Joint Trade Committee between Vietnam and Thailand held in Hanoi from July 10-12.
The partnership is part of the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy under the aegis of the Agriculture Ministry.
Ms Sansanee said discussion during the retreat will also include cooperation on food and energy security.
In addition, Thailand will ask for Vietnam's assistance in creating transport linkage via Highways 8 and 12 between northeastern Thailand, central Laos and Vietnam in order to enhance trade between these countries.
Last year, two-way trade between Thailand and Vietnam totalled US$9.08 billion, up by 25.5% from 2010. Thailand's exports made up $7.05 billion.
Vietnam's total paddy rice production is estimated at 43.4 million tonnes this year, while Thailand's paddy production is estimated at 34 million.
There are 244 Thai projects investing in Vietnam worth $5.81 billion, ranking 10th among foreign investment there.
About the author
- Writer: Chatrudee Theparat
Position: Business Reporter