The Thai department of agriculture says its is rapidly moving towards the development of its tropical fruit production in the country in an effort to gain a leading edge in an increasingly liberalised pan-Asia Pacific market.
Thongchat Raksakul, director general of the department of agriculture said that his department had a specific aim to boost the country's exports of fruit and vegetables throughout the world, with a particular focus on tropical fruits.
Raksakul said that under the initiative farmers would be encouraged to undertake their own business initiatives and decisions, without too much assistance from the state government. He explained that this was being done to promote more of an entrepreneurial spirit amongst producers in the sector.
Earlier this week the Thai government firmed up a deal with the Australian government to boost the economies of both countries by billions of dollars. Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and nine ministers travelled to Australia to carry out a formal signing ceremony. The agreement is estimated to boost Australia's GDP by $6.7 billion (€5.4bn)and Thailand's by $32 billion over 20 years.
The agreement will boost trade for both countries in a number of sector, but specifically it is expected to give a major boost to Thai food exporters, with a partiuclar focus on the export of fruit and vegetables to Australia.
Thai food producers are also eyeing the China market, especially southern China, in an effort to boost exports. This week ten representatives from the Thai food and beverage sector visited neighbouring Xishuang Banna, part of the Chinese Yunnan province, in an effort to try and promote trade with the region. Fruit and vegetable exporters were amongst the businesses hoping to tap into a market which borders Thailand - trade that would facilitate the cheap export of many fresh food products.