Thailand, Bahrain to boost food and energy security

Thailand and Bahrain will work more closely on food and energy security as well as increasing bilateral investment after making a deal to boost relations.

The agreement came after the second meeting of the Bahrain-Thai High Joint Commission yesterday.

The talks focused on three cooperation agreements – concerning food security, culture and tourism – signed in May during Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s visit to Bahrain.

During yesterday’s talks, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul, who chaired the meeting along with Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, said both countries had agreed to set up the Joint Steering Committee on food security.

The government has proposed that Bahrain establish silos in Thailand to store food such as rice, which would be purchased from Thailand to improve food security in the Persian Gulf nation.

Bangkok would also set up a commodity distribution centre in Bahrain, Mr Surapong said.

The two countries agreed informally that Bahrain would purchase rice from Thailand, though exact quantities have not been confirmed. Bahrain businessmen will come to Thailand soon to discuss the issue, Mr Surapong said.

Thailand has proposed that the Bahraini government buy a range of Thai agri-products such as rice, sugar, frozen chicken, construction materials and canned foods.

In return, both countries agreed to promote Islamic banking practices, and Bahrain will send more businessmen to Thailand to improve capital investment, Mr Surapong said.

“We are pleased to work with Bahrain on agriculture and vocational education, as the [Bahraini] government needs Thai knowledge to develop its country and to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels,” he said.

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