Bangladesh to draw Thai assistance in food, farm sectors

Thailand has expressed its keenness to extend technical cooperation to different areas of Bangladesh's agriculture and food sectors ranging from farm mechanization, food processing and research, an official statement said here today.

"Thailand is keen to enhance cooperation in food and agriculture sector," Bangladesh's embassy in Bangkok said quoting Thai agriculture minister General Chatchal Sarikulya as saying during a meeting with food minister Quamrul Islam yesterday.

Chatchal added: "Thailand is ready to extend all possible cooperation to support Bangladesh's food and agriculture sector." The meeting was held in Bangkok as the food minister is now on a four-day visit to Thailand.

The statement said Quamrul sought Thai cooperation particularly in agricultural production and technology, farm mechanization, processing and packaging and production of especially fruits and vegetables.

Apart from this, it said the food minister called for enhanced bilateral cooperation in field of agro-business and academic arena especially in joint agriculture researches and exchange of technical expertise through training courses, workshops and study tours.

Food Minister also appreciate the announcement of Thai government of duty-free, Quota-free (DFQF) access of 6998 products for the least developed countries (LDC's) including Bangladesh. The Minister also expects that Thailand would continue to review more favorable tariff structure for Bangladesh in the future.

Quamrul also met Thai Commerce Minister Apiradi Tantraporn while they agreed to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on rice trade between the two countries.

Under the proposed MOU, Bangladesh could import 10 lakh tonnes of all kinds of standard rice on G2G basis annually from Thailand subject to production situation in both countries and at the prevailing level of international price.

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

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)