Thai exporters are concerned about the "land-grabbing colonialism" strategy being used by developed nations such as South Korea to reap benefits from agricultural goods grown in a second country and exported to other nations.
Private Saudi firm Planet Food World (PFWC) will invest around $3 billion in agriculture in Turkey over the next five years to export food products to the Gulf region, the head of its Turkish unit said.
Thailand is keen on reaching bilateral agreements with Qatar on various economic investments from agriculture particularly on food, oil and gas and tourism sectors, visiting Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya said yesterday.
"We believe there are many opportunities for investment in Thailand and Philippines and for both countries in Bahrain," a Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry representative said. "Food security is one area we are trying to emphasise. We had discussions in planting and growing bananas and rice in both countries."
"According to our laws and our policy, foreigners or foreign companies are not allowed to rent or buy land to grow rice or any kind of food, including raising livestock, in Thailand," Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said yesterday.
The issue of farmland investments is expected to be raised in the first ministerial meeting between Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) on June 29-30 in Manama.