Asian rice giants gather their strength at the confederation

06 December 20132 min reading
Asia’s major rice producers and exporters prepare to get together under the name of ASEAN Rice Confederation in order to increase their power in the market. Including particularly Thailand and other major rice exporters in Southeast Asia are speeding up establishment of an ASEAN Rice Confederation in an attempt to stabilize rice prices and enhance their collective bargaining power. Deputy Commerce Minister Yanyong Puangrach convened a meeting of representatives of ASEAN’s rice producing nations--Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand--taking place today and tomorrow in Bangkok in November. The meeting discussed launching an ASEAN Rice Confederation as well as mapping out a joint rice management system. According to the minister; Southeast Asia is now capable of producing 20 million tons of rice annually or two thirds of rice produced globally, about 30 million tons a year. ASEAN is now facing many problems associated with rice production, whether in marketing, pricing, management, logistics and stock systems. Thus; regional countries need to join together to increase negotiating power, while stepping back from competing against each other. At the meeting, Mr. Yanyong emphasized Thailand’s readiness to become the trading hub for rice in ASEAN due to the country’s advancement in rice technology, logistics and finance. He said Chachoengsao and Sa Kaeo provinces have initially been chosen as Special Rice Trade Zones, though both positive and negative impacts needed to be studied thoroughly before an official designation is made.
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