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Mekong nations to form rice cartel, says Thai PM

   5/1/2008

The grouping of Mekong nations have agreed in principle to form a rice price-fixing cartel as costs of the staple grain surge, said Thai Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej. The rice exporting cartel of the Mekong nations including Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam would be similar to the oil cartel OPEC, and would be called the Organisation of Rice Exporting Countries (OREC), PM Samak was quoted by foreign media as saying in Bangkok on April 30. It is hoped that the cartel will be able to determine the rice prices on the world market in the same fashion as the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries does with oil, Thailand’s The Nation newspaper said, adding that it would not only boost the bargaining power of rice-exporting nations but also help stabilise rice prices for domestic consumption. Thailand was the biggest rice-exporting nation last year, accounting for nearly 32 percent of the total.

VNA
5/1/2008

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