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Thailand apologises to India over remark by trade representative

Written by World Events

Thailand has offered an official apology to India over a remark made by a Thai trade representative at the 13th World Trade Organisation ministerial conference in the United Arab Emirates.

The Thai representative is reported to have said, during the conference, that the Indian government’s measure to supply cheap rice to its people by subsidising the cost of its production is not actually intended for the good of the people, but to increase export market share.

The Indian government contends, however, that the measure is to ensure food security in India and the surplus rice is exported, because India is an established major rice exporter like Thailand.

Commerce Minister Phumtham Wechayachai said yesterday that the Thai trade representative’s remark does not reflect the Thai government’s policy or position. As such, he said he had sent a letter of apology to the Indian ministry of commerce and industry for the misunderstanding caused by the remark.

Phumtham also said that he has received a reply from the Indian minister expressing his understanding and thanking the Thai government for its sincerity and swift action to resolve the problem.

The commerce minister said he looks forward to closer cooperation and relations between Thailand and India.

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