For Immediate Release

Thailand Rice Convention 2019
Thai Rice…The World’s Food Source
Advancing Research and Innovation to Serve Global Consumers

The Ministry of Commerce reaffirms Thai rice’s position as the world’s food source and continues to bolster global confidence in Thai rice quality standards while supporting the development of rice-based innovative products to serve the needs of global consumers of diverse lifestyles.

Mr. Adul Chotinisakorn, Director-General of the Department of Foreign Trade (DFT), disclosed that Thailand Rice Convention 2019 (TRC 2019), hosted by the Ministry of Commerce for the 9th consecutive time from 27-29 May 2019, at Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld, was concluded with success. The biennial international convention, under the theme “RICE STYLE: The New Global Lifestyle”, was warmly attended by over 800 participants representing both the public and private sectors from throughout Thailand and the world. They included producers, traders, exporters, and importers of rice and rice-based innovative products, as well as government representatives from rice importing countries, experts, academics, farmers and members of the media

The Director-General continued: “The opening ceremony of TRC 2019 was presided over by Mr. Boonyarit Kalayanamit, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce, who delivered a keynote address on ‘Thai Rice…The World’s Food Source’. The audience then learned about the dedication and perseverance of Thai farmers as well as related agencies in the public and private sectors in their efforts to promote rice as a key economic crop which helps create job, generates revenues and fosters sustainable growth of the country. The collaboration of all the parties concerned enhances consumers’ confidence in the quality and standards of Thai rice, supports the development of innovations to meet the needs of global consumers and strengthens Thailand’s position as a main source of food for the world.

“Consumers around the world are leading different lifestyles today in line with the changes in demographic structure. For instance, the world is fast becoming an aging society and consumers are now paying more attention to health, nutritional value, diet therapy and relevant innovations. Thailand thus needs to adapt and further develop our production process so that our rice industry can cope with new demands and meet the consumer needs for healthy food. The country will then continue to enjoy its proud status as the sustainable source of food for the world well into the future,” Mr Adul reiterated.

TRC 2019 also provided forums for discussions on several interesting issues on rice trade and development including “Global Rice Market Outlook”, “Rice Market Outlook…Thailand’s Opportunities” and "Penetrating into Global Markets for Rice-based Innovative Products”. International and Thai experts shared their insights and views on these topics with enthusiastic audience. On rice market outlook, experts detailed important factors and challenges faced by world rice market, particularly the huge stocks at 68% of global rice stockpiles currently held by China. And while many countries expect to increase their outputs, Thailand has just revised its export target to 10 million tonnes in 2019, from 11.09 million tonnes in 2018.

Experts, however, are all confident that Thai rice still has strong potentials in the premium market where consumers pay more attention to healthy living. In the discussion titled “Rice Market Outlook…Thailand’s Opportunities”, the experts pointed out that there were great opportunities for Thai rice in foreign markets including the EU and the US. The rice with highest potentials includes organic rice, colored rice, specialty rice and nutritional rice as they correspond to the new global lifestyle which values safety, health and the environment. The only challenges faced by Thai rice export industry remain its capability to comply with regulations and tariffs, as well as to create awareness and appreciation of Thai rice’s values and benefits among consumers. In the discussion, "Penetrating into Global Markets for Rice-based Innovative Products”, experts advised Thailand to integrate technology and innovation in turning rice into value-added products which offer farmers and consumers worldwide healthy, safe and eco-friendly choices.

In addition to the technical discussions, TRC 2019 also featured a special exhibition celebrating the auspicious occasion of the Royal Coronation of His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Phra Vajiraklaochaoyuhua (King Rama X). And in parallel, the commemorative exhibition entitled “The Kings and Thai Rice” was staged as the centerpiece of “TRC 2019 RICE STYLE” event at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, reflecting the royal benevolence of the Chakri Dynasty Kings toward the development of rice, rice trade, rice culture and livelihood of farmers. The event was well attended by the general public and successfully led to trade deals between Thai exporters and foreign importers. Thai and international viewers meanwhile had a close encounter with vast varieties of Thai rice and discovered its worth beyond food for consumption. With technology and innovation, rice could be transformed into countless products including food supplements and consumer products such as cosmetics, health and beauty products, medical supplies and medicinal applications.

The DFT’s Director General concluded that TRC 2019 not only reflected Thailand’s leadership as a global producer and exporter of quality rice, but also its high caliber in serving consumer needs in a new global lifestyle with research and innovation for the sustainable development of Thai rice.

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