China is looking at the Philippines to meet its domestic food and energy requirements even as the Chinese economy is being restructured into an enormous assembly hub of manufactured goods for the American, Japanese and European markets.
Alarmed by exporting countries’ trade restrictions, importing countries have realised that their dependence on the international food market makes them vulnerable not only to an abrupt surge in prices but, more crucially, to an interruption in supplies.
The Arabian Peninsula is currently flooded with petrodollars, giving the Gulf Arabs a wide array of investment options abroad. But while these countries are winners in the oil market, they are losers in the food market. As a result, the Gulf Arabs - with Saudi Arabia at the fore - are pursuing a strategy to buy their food security through overseas agribusiness investment.
Bahrain wants to invest in rice farmland in the Philippines, the world's top importer of the grain, in a move to boost food security as global food supplies become increasingly expensive, traders said on Wednesday.
Bahrain Minister of Industry and Commerce Dr. Hassan bin
Abdullah Fakhro pointed out today that an agreement was reached with officials in the Philippines to allocate large plots of land to grow Basmati rice in a bid to secure the Kingdom's needs for such a product at reasonable prices