May 08, 2014 00:00 By PETCHANET PRATRUANGKRAI
TO PROMOTE exports of rice, particularly premium varieties, the Foreign Trade Department will send a mission to Japan, targeting the high-end market.
“Promoting rice in Japan will increase opportunities for sales in one of the highest-purchasing-power markets for Thai rice,” director-general Surasak Riangkrul said yesterday.
“Thai rice, especially jasmine rice, which is acknowledged for high nutrition and good quality, should get a better response in this market.”
The Japanese are also known for being health-conscious.
The mission will visit Tokyo from next Thursday-Monday May 15-19. Promotional activities will be held at Yoyogi Park, where many Japanese, especially housewives, often go to relax.
The department will promote Thai rice directly to consumers so that they can understand how to cook it. Unlike Japanese rice, which has short grains, Thai jasmine rice has long grains and prefers less water for cooking.
The department will also stress the quality and nutritional value of Thai rice, as Japanese consumers are acutely aware of their health and nutritional foods.
Japan is the 10th-largest overseas market for Thai rice. Exports of the grain to Japan were up 6.25 per cent to US$37.63 million (Bt1.218 billion) last quarter after surging 26.8 per cent to $139.63 million last year.
To foster closer cooperation with Japan, the department will also meet with the agriculture, forestry and fisheries minister during the trip.