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Mekong nations planning rice cartel

Thailand’s prime minister said April 30 his country had agreed in principle to form a rice price-fixing cartel with Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar as costs of the staple grain rocket.


The grouping of Mekong nations would be similar to the oil cartel OPEC, and would be called the Organization of Rice Exporting Countries (OREC).


“I have talked with Myanmar and invited them to join the rice exporting countries cartel, which will include Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, to fix the price,” Premier Samak Sundaravej told reporters.


He said Myanmar’s Prime Minister General Thein Sein, in Thailand for an official visit, had agreed to join, even though the military-ruled nation was not currently a large rice exporter.


“Thailand will help them in terms of technical support to improve their production for export,” Samak said.


Samak said Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos had also agreed to join, and Thai Foreign Minister Noppadon Pattama said OREC should begin meeting soon. (AFP)



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