From 28 to 30 June, 2018 H.E. Mr. Kirill Barsky, Russian Ambassador to Thailand joined a group of representatives of the diplomatic corps and business community to visit the Southern provinces of Krabi and Trang. The tour was organized by the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives of Thailand in the framework of the program “Quality, Standards and Variety of Thai Natural Rubber” aimed at expanding exports of rubber and attracting investment to the Thai rubber industry.
Mr. Grisada Boonrach, Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives of Thailand, Mr. Letviroj Kowattana, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry and Sub Lt. Apinan Puekpong, Acting Vice Governor of Krabi province spoke at the program’s inauguration ceremony. Presentation of the export potential of this important sector of the Thai economy was made by Mr. Yium Tavarolit, Acting Governor of the Rubber Authority of Thailand.
Thailand is the largest producer of natural rubber in the world (approximately 4.5 million tons per year, or one third of the world production). Russia is interested in increasing the import of this agricultural raw material, in particular for its tire makers. In 2017 the Russian import of Thai natural rubber grew by 15.6 per cent as compared with the previous year, while for the first five months of this year the supplies of rubber from Thailand jumped by another 17.6 per cent in comparison with the same period of 2017.
Participants of the trip included Ambassadors and senior diplomats from the Embassies of China, Japan, India, Republic of Korea, Brazil, Australia, Kazakhstan, Germany, Finland, Kuwait, Bahrein, Oman etc. They visited neighboring Trang province where the group toured rubber plantations and cooperative enterprises turning latex into rubber as well as offices and manufacturing facilities of two big companies – “Sri Trang” which is one of the top five producers of rubber gloves in the world, and “Plan Toys”, internationally famous producer of environmentally friendly wooden toys made of rubber trees.
On the sidelines of the trip Ambassador Barsky discussed with top officials of the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives of Thailand preparation for the 3rd session of the Russian-Thai Joint Sub-Commission on cooperation in the field of agriculture planned to be held in Bangkok in mid-July.