RP Not Keen on Thailand's Terms on Rice, Sugar supply.(Business)

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Byline: BERNIE CAHILES-MAGKILAT

The Philippines is not keen on Thailands proposal to supply 33 percent and 20 percent of the countrys sugar and rice import requirements, respectively, on a long-term basis, in exchange for a decision to delay the liberalization of the domestic sugar industry from the ASEAN and World Trade Organization (WTO) trade liberalization programs.

Trade and Industry Secretary Manuel A. Roxas II said the Philippines is inclined to veer away from committing a definite volume of imports that would be granted to Thailand as it would be difficult to forecast the countrys annual requirement.

Specifically, Thailand is proposing for the Philippines to enter into a longterm agreement for the purchase of approximately 100,000 metric tons of sugar or a minimum volume equivalent to 33 percent of the Philippines total import requirements per year, Trade and Industry Secretary Manuel A. Roxas II said.

This year, the Philippines imports 107,000 metric tons of sugar as against last years 172,000 metric tons. …