India, Thailand discuss coordination among rice exporting nations

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Bangkok, Apr 22 (UNI) India and Thailand, the world's leading rice exporters, have discussed coordination among the rice exporting nations in view of the mounting global concern over rising food prices.

Commerce minister Kamal Nath met Thai Foreign minister Noppadon Pattama on the sidelines of UNCTAD XII in Accra yesterday to discuss a range of bilateral and regional issues of mutual interest.

During an exchange of views on rising prices of food commodities across the world, the ministers also discussed the possibility of promoting closer coordination and cooperation among rice exporting nations, a Thai Foreign Ministry press statement said.

Thailand is the world's largest exporter of rice and has reiterated its international commitment to export nine million tonnes of cereal this year.

Mr Nath expressed New Delhi's wish to enlarge the scope of the India-Thailand FTA, while Thailand welcomed increased Indian investments. The Thai foreign minister observed that several Indian companies had expressed interest in entering the Thai steel sector.

The two ministers also discussed the possibility of expanding air links to handle the growing tourist traffic from India to Thailand. They also considered ways to make easier the issue of Thai visas to visitors from India.

India and Thailand also reiterated support to the process of national reconciliation and democratisation in Myanmar.

UNI XC SYU AS1445

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