By Thai Journalism Watch
A Yingluck minister said yesterday that negative news on Thai rice, such as about quality, have hurtThailand’s negotiation position with Iran. “Iran have negotiated the price down because of the negative news report on Thai rice,” said Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Niwatthamrong Bunsongphaisan. He said however, he had assured Iran of Thai rice quality and told Iran to inspect every stage of the export process. Iran will import 250,000 tonnes of rice from Thailand under a government-to-government (G-to-G) deal in which white Thai rice will be delivered within six months beginning from October this year, he told reporters on Thursday the deal was concluded during his trip to Iran last week, Thai News Agency (TNA) reported. However, Niwatthamrong declined to reveal the price of the rice, saying the information is about competitiveness. The minister said Iran will order an additional 750,000 tonnes of rice as Tehran is negotiating to import one million tonnes of rice from Thailand over the next two years. ”I expect Iran will import at least 500,000 tonnes of Thai rice next year,” he said. Tehran has expressed interest to import other Thai products such as natural rubber and cassava, said the deputy premier. Niwatthamrong said rice export negotiations are also currently under way with several countries including China, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Middle East. The minister will visit those countries in future to seal G-to-G rice deals. Most Thai pres have been fiercely attacking the Yingluck rice scheme, with mostly here say based information, with little supporting facts. The news of the Iran sals is mostly censored by Thai and global press, which have been hot on the Thai rice story.
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