Iraq has lifted a ban on the importation of rice from Thailand.
The ban was imposed on private exporters in August due to quality concerns, but the Thai government has continuously defended the quality of its rice. The Iraqi government had already stopped purchasing rice directly from its Thai counterpart three years ago because of concerns about low quality.
Surasak Riangkrul, director-general of Thailand’s Foreign Trade Department, said after a trip to Iraq to reconfirm the quality with the Iraqi Trade Minister Khairallah Hassan Babiker that Iraq has pledged to resume importing Thai rice.
Iraq is one of the world’s largest importers of wheat and rice, issuing tenders for 20,000 to 30,000 tonnes of rice a month, much of which goes to supply a national food rationing programme.
Moreover, Iraq is highly likely to open talks for rice purchases from Thailand via a government-to-government (G-to-G) contract, Mr Surasak said.