The Ministry of Commerce, through the Department of Foreign Trade, and the Thai Rice Exporters Association are joining hands in organizing two major rice events to make Thai rice better known in the world at large.
The two events, scheduled for 20-23 June 2011, include the Thailand Rice Convention 2011 and the World Rice Standard Summit 2011.
More than 500 rice importers from 50 countries will join the Thailand Rice Convention 2011, which will take place at the Shangri-la Hotel in Bangkok on June 20. They will come from Brunei Darussalam, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nigeria, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and others.
The convention will include a keynote address on “Thai Rice: The Best Rice of the World” by Permanent Secretary for Commerce Yanyong Phuangrach. It will also consist of a session on “Demand, Supply, and Production of Thai Rice” and a panel discussion on “World Rice Outlook for 2011-2012.” Members of the Thai public and private organizations and foreign rice traders will discuss and exchange views on various rice issues.
After the convention, the participants will visit Nakhon Sawan province on June 22 and 23 to observe rice fields and rice mills. During the visit, they will be provided with an opportunity to observe the steps of Hom Mali rice production and Thai farmers’ way of life and join the World Rice Standard Summit 2011.
Permanent Secretary for Commerce Yanyong Phuangrach said that, from January to May 2011, Thailand exported about 5.7 million metric tonnes of rice, worth 88 billion baht. The country’s rice export target this year has been set at between 9 and 9.5 million tonnes. Thailand stands a good chance of exporting 10 million tonnes, worth more than 170 billion baht, this year.
Mr. Yanyong pointed out that Thai rice exporters have faced higher costs of production because of expensive oil prices and the fluctuation of currency exchange rates. However, the public and private sectors have been working closely together in penetrating new markets. Since several rice-exporting countries were faced with unusual weather causing difficulties to rice exports, Thailand is likely to export more rice this year.
Mr. Chookiat Ophaswongse, Honorary President of the Thai Rice Exporters Association, believed that Thailand would be able to achieve 10 million tonnes of rice exports in 2011. The country has received more orders from overseas. For instance, earlier this year, Indonesia ordered 600,000 tonnes of Thai rice, while the Philippines order 500,000 to 600,000 tonnes.
One of the objectives of holding such events as the Thailand Rice Convention 2011 and the World Rice Standard Summit 2011 is to retain Thailand’s status as the world’s largest rice exporter.