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Benefits for Thai rice production and market from ASEAN


Prawfah Roruangkul (Pangpun) 1109

The main goal of creating ASEAN is to raise the economy of the member

countries. Gathering the countries locating nearby each other to form a community

may increase the ability to deal with the world mar by assigning the role for the

country bases on specialization. As Thailand is one of the largest rice producers and

exporters in the world with the volume of 21.4% of the world-exported rice, it is

referred to be the rice bowl of the region and the big hub of rice trade (Workman,

2017). It is very important that Thailand has an effective rice production, as

Thailand is a supplier of rice in the community. Joining ASEAN would benefit the

rice production and market of Thailand by expanding the rice market of Thailand,

increasing the efficiency of rice production, and improving the transportation used

to transfer rice.

Joining ASEAN would expand the rice market of Thailand which is one of the

main goals of Thailand when joining ASEAN as we expect to lift the economics,

and the way to improve the economy of Thailand is to expand the Thai rice market.

As a result of that, Thai rice would be exported and sold in many other countries,

and the Thai rice market would be more worldwide. Malee Choklumlerd, the

Department of International Trade Promotions director-general, is willing to export

the Thai rice market into Central America as the country in Central America, for

example, Panama is facing the problem of rice shortage. The government of Panama

is currently importing 67,000 tons of rice, and it is reaching 135,000 tons soon

(Mexican Chain Buys, 2017).The countries in Central America are the good

market bases for Thai rice as they are unable to grow rice themselves. Also, they are
currently importing rice from the country considered as a middleman in a big

volume. Therefore, it is the good opportunity for Thailand to distribute the market

into Central America. The ASEAN community would be helpful in the expansion of

Thai rice market as it would be better to deal with others as a group. Moreover,

Joining ASEAN does not only benefit the Thai rice market in other countries

outside ASEAN, but it also helps expanding the rice market within the community.

The professor Direk Patmasiriwat from the faculty of Economics, Thammasat

University stated that the demand of jasmine rice is in the uprising trend as can be

realised from the total sale of jasmine rice in the neighboring countries that has

risen by 3.88 percent per annum (Patmasiriwat, 2009). It is a good sign that the

demands of jasmine rice in the neighboring countries are increasing as it is informed

that there would be more sales to come especially when joining ASEAN as there

would be the stronger ability for Thailand to deal with other countries outside the

community. As a result, joining ASEAN helps increasing the market base of Thai

rice as it becomes easier to make the deal with other countries when considered as a

member of the community, so it benefits Thai rice production and market as

increasing the demand and expanding the market base.

Other than the expansion of the Thai rice market, the efficiency of Thai rice

production would be increased as well. The efficiency of production depends on the

factors such as technologies, and management which joining ASEAN community

would bring more technologies into Thailand which would improve the

management, so that would lead to the increase in efficiency of the production.

According to the professor from the department of Agricultural Economics and

Agribusiness, university of Arkansas, it is stated that the whole ASEAN rice

production will be going upward, and the total rice product of the region is expected

to rise by 1.37% a year since the rice produced in 2010 is about 110.5 million tons,

it is projected to goes up to 128.3 million tons within 10 years (Wailes & Chavez,

2012). As Thailand is a part of ASEAN, Thai rice production should increase as

well. In addition, the report named Strategic plan of Action for ASEAN

Cooperation on Crops stated that The members of the region have agreed to use

the FAFs Vision and Goals consisting of 6 STs including increase the quality and

quantity of products with technologies and management as well as reducing waste

from harvest, increase assessment in trade, ensure the quality and safety of the

product, increase the ability to cope the climate change and natural disasters,

support the small producers to be able to compete in the market, and be able to deal

with the issue coming into the community from international to improve the

agricultural production within the community (Strategic Plan of, n.d.). The

plan is mainly focusing on the improvement of agricultural system of the

community by raising the product quantity and quality using technologies and

management. This will help increasing the rice production of Thailand as well. The

rice production would reach the best of its ability, and keep growing as it is

improved according to the plan on agriculture of the ASEAN community. This is

one of the benefits that Thailand gets on the rice production from joining ASEAN.

The ASEAN region transportation is now improved as the region has established

the plan on the transportation between the region and other countries called

ASEAN connectivity in 2025. According to the plan of ASEAN connectivity in

2025, the ASEAN Highway Network has been made. The goals of the ASEAN

Highway Network (AHN) are to establish the efficient, integrated, safe, and

environmentally kind regional land transport linking all ASEAN Members States
and neighboring countries (Master Plan on, 2016).The new transportation

plan will improve the land transportation it will enable the larger association of the

countries by making the connecting transports way broader, so that will make the

rice trade easier. Besides connecting the ASEAN member countries together, the

ASEAN transportation plan is linking the region to the countries outside. The main

plan of the region connectivity is to cooperate with China, South Korea, and Japan.

The project is heading to join with the One road, One belt project of China.

According to the plan of connectivity of ASEAN and other countries, the rice trade

and rice transfer would be benefited, as the plan would allow more rice trade

between the region and other countries as the transportation becomes easier. Not

only the land transportation is projected to be improved, but the plan is focusing on

the other types of transportation such as the water way transportation as well as

there is the plan to open more ports, and the project to develop the more effective

and wider water transportation. (Brunetti, 2016). To improve the transportation, the

community is also planning to join the transport way with the non-ASEAN

countries as a way to improve the land transportation, which is used in transferring

rice as well. As the transportation of ASEAN is developed, the region would be

connected to each other as well as other countries outside the community, which

will benefits the rice production as making the transportation easier.

To conclude, the information really supports that Thai rice production and

market will be benefited from joining ASEAN community. ASEAN community will

benefit Thai rice production and market referring to Thai rice market expansion, the

increasing rice production efficiency, and the transportation improvement. The

arguments were supported by the professors of the universities from the faculty of
economics who are professional in analyzing the economic situations, the

government sector that takes responsibility in Thai rice production and market, and

the report from ASEAN. The essay would be useful in explaining the plan of

ASEAN in the view of rice production which will makes it understandable for the

people and farmers which will enable them to deal with the up coming market

situations which may help improve the sales volume of rice for the farmers.

Brunetti, E. (March, 2016). A Guide to ASEANs Strategic Transport Action Plan. Retrieved

February 20, 2017 from


Master Plan on Connectivity 2025 (August, 2016). Retrieved March 20, 2017 from

Mexican chain buys big load of Thai rice (Jan 16, 2017). Retrieved in January 17, 2017 from http://

Patmasiriwat, D. (2009). Readings in Thailand Rice Economy: A Collection Book in

Honor of Associate Professor Somporn Isvilanond. Retrieved in January 17, 2017 from

Strategic plan of Action for ASEAN Cooperation on crops (2016-2020) (n.d.). Retrieved in February

11, 2017 from


Wailes, E. J. and Chavez, E. C. (August, 2012). ASEAN and Global Rice Situation and

Outlook. Mandaluyong: Asian Development Bank.

Workman D. (February, 2017). Rice Exports by Country. Retrieved in January 25, 2017 from