Yingluck, Wen to witness signing of rice deal

Bangkok (The Nation/ANN) - Thailand and China will sign a memorandum of understanding on rice trading during Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's visit today, but the document will not contain a commitment from Beijing on the quantity of rice it wants to buy.

Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom and his Chinese counterpart will ink the MoU, while Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and Wen will witness the signing.

China will not specify an exact import volume from Thailand, rice being listed as a sensitive product under its commitments with the World Trade Organisation, a senior official said yesterday.

Pranee Siriphand, director-general of the Foreign Trade Department, said the MoU would not be a final contract between the two countries, as officials would need to hold further talks on China's placing an order to purchase Thai rice.

It should, however, guarantee that Thailand is a priority country for China as and when it considers importing more rice to supply its domestic market, she said.

China is already a major importer of Thai rice. It imports a total of about 1 million tonnes annually, mainly from Thailand and Vietnam.

However, Thai rice exports to China dropped 57.8 per cent in the first 10 months of the year, to 91,460 tonnes.

Yingluck's government is facing major political difficulties due to its price-pledging scheme for rice.

The administration wants to release rice into foreign markets as soon as possible due to domestic market pressures of oversupply and declining prices, as well as political pressure from the opposition.

The Democrat Party will open a censure-motion debate on the government's rice policy next week.

A report by officials said the Commerce Ministry had previously requested Cabinet approval for signing an MoU to supply at least 5 million tonnes of rice to China from 2013 to 2015, at prices based on the market price at the time of shipment.

However, the Cabinet yesterday approved the ministry's proposal to sign the MoU during Wen's visit without any mention of the quantity of rice China might purchase.

The MoU indicates that both sides will develop rice trading for the benefit of good relations and mutual benefit. Both parties will cooperate on the basis of transparency, justness and fairness between their rice-trading agencies.

The two governments will support the proper management of rice trading in accordance with market principles, according to the government document released after yesterday's Cabinet meeting.

The MoU can be amended, or even revoked, with the consent of the contracting parties, the document said.

Wen landed in Bangkok yesterday for a two-day visit to firm up bilateral ties as a strategic partner of the Kingdom.

His visit is regarded as a balancing act to the high-profile visit by US President Barack Obama, who left Thailand on Monday.

Wen begins his activities today by jointly opening the Chinese Cultural Centre with Yingluck, before holding discussions with her at Government House.

The two leaders will discuss a wide range of bilateral and regional issues. Wen and Yingluck have both just completed a series of meetings in Phnom Penh during the Asean summits.

The Cabinet yesterday approved another MoU for the Foreign Ministry to sign with its Chinese counterpart on the forging of cooperation and the promotion of bilateral relations.

COPYRIGHT: ASIA NEWS NETWORK

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • China says U.S. actions in S.China Sea "irresponsible, dangerous"
    China says U.S. actions in S.China Sea "irresponsible, dangerous"

    By Sui-Lee Wee BEIJING (Reuters) - China said on Friday it was "strongly dissatisfied" after a U.S. military plane flew over part of the South China Sea near where China is building artificial islands, and called on the United States to stop such action or risk causing an accident. The Chinese navy issued eight warnings to the U.S. P8-A Poseidon, the U.S. military's most advanced surveillance aircraft, when it conducted the overflights on Wednesday, according to CNN, which had a team on board …

  • 2015 Hyundai Lateral Drift goes to Philippine Arena
    2015 Hyundai Lateral Drift goes to Philippine Arena

    The smell of burnt rubber and screeching tires are some of the highlights that will be seen at the most adrenaline-pumped drifting event of the year—the 2015 Hyundai Lateral Drift Championship series.   Held at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan, the event will be the biggest venue in the drifting competition. This is the […] The post 2015 Hyundai Lateral Drift goes to Philippine Arena appeared first on Carmudi Philippines. …

  • The Richest Senators In The Philippines
    The Richest Senators In The Philippines

    The 2014 Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth for politicians and public servants are now available for anyone to … The post The Richest Senators In The Philippines appeared first on iMoney.ph. …

  • PHILIPPINES PRESS-AirAsia Philippines seeks $500 mln valuation for IPO - Inquirer

    The Philippine unit of Malaysian budget carrier AirAsia Berhad is seeking a valuation of at least $500 million for its initial public offering set within the next two years, the Philippine Daily Inquirer ... …

  • Consultant, facing joblessness, claims P5.9-M lotto pot
    Consultant, facing joblessness, claims P5.9-M lotto pot

    A 39-year-old information technology consultant, whose job contract will expire this month, has claimed his share of the 6/45 Mega Lotto’s P17.8-million jackpot in its May 13 draw, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) announced yesterday. “I could not sleep for the past several days, thinking about where I could get the money to pay my children’s tuition,” the winner told PCSO general manager Jose Ferdinand Rojas II when he received a check for P5.9 million at the PCSO’s central …

  • Cager’s daughter: I will never drive again
    Cager’s daughter: I will never drive again

    Kim Asaytono vowed never to get behind the wheel again after she hit 14 people on Tuesday night and killed one of them. Even if she gets out of jail one day, the 22-year-old daughter of former Philippine Basketball Association player Nelson Asaytono said she no longer wants to drive. Maybe, I will still ride a car but I will never drive again,” she told The STAR in an interview in her jail cell at the Manila Police District headquarters. …

  • Disaster center to rise in Clark
    Disaster center to rise in Clark

    The private sector is set to build a disaster operations center near Clark international airport in Pampanga to strengthen the country’s preparedness against natural calamities. In his closing remarks during a two-day Earthquake Resilience Conference, businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan said yesterday the Philippine Disaster Recovery Foundation (PDRF) would build the center that would serve as base for immediate response to a disaster. Pangilinan, co-chair of the PDRF, said the disaster …

  • China shoos away US plane in disputed sea
    China shoos away US plane in disputed sea

    The Chinese navy warned a US surveillance plane flying over artificial islands that Beijing is creating in the disputed South China Sea to leave the area eight times, according to CNN, which was on board the flight on Wednesday. The P8-A Poseidon, the US military’s most advanced surveillance aircraft, flew at 4,500 meters at its lowest point, CNN said. The incident, along with recent Chinese warnings to Philippine military aircraft to leave areas around the Spratly archipelago in the South …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options