On December 3, COFCO Group President Yu Xubo and Duangporn Rodphaya, director-general of the Foreign Trade Department at the Thai Commerce Ministry signed an agreement to import 1 million tons of Thai rice in Bangkok. The signing ceremony was jointly witnessed by Wang Xiaotao, deputy head of the National Development and Reform Commission of the People’s Republic of China (NDRC) and Thai Commerce Minister Apiradi Tantraporn.
As two friendly and neighboring countries which enjoy close ties, China and Thailand have witnessed sustained and healthy development of bilateral relations, which not only brings tangible benefits to peoples of two countries but also plays a major role in maintaining regional peace and stability. As Thailand’s important agro-product and trade product, rice occupies a pivotal position in Thai economy as well as bilateral economic and trade cooperation between China and Thailand. In order to contribute to bilateral friendship and trade cooperation, Chinese government has endeavored to arrange and increase the import of Thai rice by an appropriate amount to adjust rice varieties in China’s market and meet consumers’ differentiated demand even though there is no urgent need to import rice in China due to successive years of bumper harvest and ample inventories of rice.
As a state-owned enterprise established in the same year as the People’s Republic of China, COFCO Group has shouldered the important task of importing and exporting grains, oils and foods in China for a long time. Over the past two years, COFCO Group raised its import of quality Thai rice by executing the rice trade agreement between China and Thailand. In view of the fierce market competition in China due to its ample supply of rice, COFCO Group has stepped up its effort to expand its network of distributors which number over 100,000 and provide strong support to the sale and promotion of Thai rice in domestic market. At the same time, COFCO also created brands especially for Thai rice: “COFCO” Tung Ku La Rong Hai Thai Jasmine Fragrant Rice and “Fortune” Thai Jasmine Fragrant Rice, both of which have been available in China’s grocery stores and received positive market feedback. By shouldering the task of importing Thai rice, COFCO Group gives a vigorous boost to and plays a supporting role in the implementation of Sino-Thai “high-speed rail-for-rice” deal and Chinese government’s “Belt and Road” initiative, helping to deepen and develop Sino-Thai bilateral economic and trade ties.
Upon the signing of the above-mentioned framework agreement, COFCO Group will go ahead with the negation, signing and execution of contracts in batches as soon as possible while continuing to expand domestic market and its network of distributors, raise brand awareness and promote sales for Thai rice.