Team signs rice deal with Philippines worth B2.8bn
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Team signs rice deal with Philippines worth B2.8bn

Nine MoUs forged with importers

The Foreign Trade Department in collaboration with the Thai Trade Center in Manila organised the Thai Rice Market Promotion event on July 4 under the concept of
The Foreign Trade Department in collaboration with the Thai Trade Center in Manila organised the Thai Rice Market Promotion event on July 4 under the concept of "Premium Thai Rice with Authentic Thai Food".

The Commerce Ministry led a team of rice exporters to the Philippines, signing memorandums of understanding (MoUs) on rice trade worth 2.8 billion baht.

Ronnarong Phoolpipat, director-general of the Foreign Trade Department, spearheaded the delegation of rice traders, including Charoen Laothamatas, president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association, to the Philippines from July 3-4.

Nine MoUs between Thai exporters and Philippine rice importers were signed, totalling 130,000 tonnes with a value of 2.8 billion baht, increasing the Thai rice market share in the Philippines.

"The department and commercial attaches in the Philippines were instructed to expand the market for Thai rice as the Philippines is expected to import 4.1 million tonnes of rice this year, up by 200,000 tonnes or 5.1% from the February estimate of 3.9 million tonnes. This increase is attributed to lower domestic production, leading to insufficient supply to meet local demand," said Mr Ronnarong.

The Thai delegation also exchanged information on the rice market with the National Food Authority (NFA), the state-run agency responsible for ensuring the food security of the Philippines.

He said the nation expects to increase rice imports this year and next, following the government's move to reduce import tariffs on rice from 35% to 15% until 2028.

The new tariff is likely to come into effect this month and is expected to increase Thailand's rice trade, said Mr Ronnarong.

Tariffs for rice imports will be reviewed every four months, according to the NFA.

The Philippines government is also working to amend the law which allows the NFA to import rice in emergency cases which is currently being considered by the Senate.

Under the current law, the NFA's mandate is limited to ensuring buffer stocks for disasters.

The Thai side has pledged that Thailand is ready to export rice to support the food security of the Philippines.

The department, in collaboration with the Thai Trade Center in Manila, invited 70 importers, rice traders, retailers and representatives of Philippine government agencies as well as the media and influencers to attend the Thai Rice Market Promotion event on July 4 under the concept of "Premium Thai Rice with Authentic Thai Food" at Mango Tree restaurant, which won the Thai Select award from the Commerce Ministry.

The activity promotes Thai soft power by publicising the authenticity and quality of Thai rice.

Rice exports to the Philippines in the first six months of 2024 increased 382% year-on-year to 299,787 tonnes worth 5.98 billion baht or US$167 million.

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