India has overtaken Thailand as the biggest rice supplier to Singapore – the first time this is believed to have happened. Thailand has been the top source of the staple here since at least 1998, accounting for over half of overall supply between 1998 and 2011.
Last year, this fell to 35.3 per cent.New figures from the Government’s trade promotion arm, International Enterprise Singapore, show that India was the top rice supplier from January to August this year at 92,865 tonnes, or 32.9 per cent of the total.Thailand was second at 85,816 tonnes over the same period, or 30.4 per cent of the total.
The Chinese Premier said that China will import one million tons of Thai rice within the next five years and that it would also import more rubber from Thailand. Thailand and China will boost bilateral trade to achieve the target of 100 billion US dollars by 2015.
He stated that Thailand is one of the favorite destinations for Chinese tourists. In the first five months of 2013, about two million Chinese visited Thailand. He also proposed visa exemption for holders of Thai passports to facilitate the travel of Thai people to China. Officials of both countries will later discuss visa exemption between the two countries. Thailand requested to open an office of consul-general in Qingdao, while China asked for the opening of its consulate in Phuket province.
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The government is expected to draw on S$53.7 billion (US$40 billion) from its reserves for this year and an additional S24 billion (US$17.8 billion) over the next three years to assist local companies transition into a post-pandemic business environment.
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