Bangladesh, Thailand agree to sign MoU on rice trade

Dhaka agreed in principle to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Bangkok in order to import up to 10 lakh metric tons of standard rice from Thailand per year on government to government basis.

The import of Thai rice would, however, depend on production level each year in both countries and at the level of international price, said a handout of the ministry of food here today.

Food Minister Advocate Mohammad Quamrul Islam, now on a four-day visit to Thailand, reached the understanding when he held a bilateral meeting with Thai Minister for Commerce Ms. Apiradi Tantraporn at her Bangkok office.

"Thailand considers Bangladesh as an important trade partner in South Asia," said Ms. Apiradi at the meeting, where Advocate Quamrul called for more trade concessions from Thailand as a reflection of warm relations between the two countries. Bangladesh Ambassador to Thailand Ms. Saida Muna Tasneem was present.

Advocate Quamrul appreciated Thailand's announcement of 'Duty-Free Quota-Free (DFQF)' access of 6998 products from the least developed countries (LDCs) that include Bangladesh and proposed that Thailand would continue to review more favorable tariff structure for Bangladesh in near future.

The two ministers also agreed to hold the 4th meeting of the Joint Trade Committee (JTC) in Dhaka at a mutually convenient time this year. During the meeting the entire gamut of bilateral trade relations is expected to be reviewed and the proposed MoU on rice trade be signed.

Thai commerce minister indicated that a large private delegation would accompany her during her visit to Dhaka for the JTC. Both sides also agreed that it was important to hold the JTC meeting regularly in each year to promote trade and businesses between the two countries.

Advocate Quamrul Islam held a separate meeting with Thai Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives on Monday. They agreed to enhance bilateral cooperation in agriculture, particularly in food sector.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)