Thailand and Guangdong province of China will enter a deal for Thailand to export premium grade jasmine rice to China.
Foreign minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul said the Foreign Ministry will talk to the Commerce Ministry to help speed up the agreement with China on its intended purchase of Thai rice.
The proposal emerged from a meeting between Surapong and Zhu Xiaodan, Governor of Guangdong province.
Surapong is visiting China to promote Thai-Chinese relationships.
The proposed agreement would help solve the problem of some Thai exporters mixing low grade rice with high quality jasmine rice.
The problem was addressed by Chinese vice-President Xi Jinping during his talks last year with prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
The two countries have agreed that the issue will be raised again during the third working group meeting between Thailand and Guangdong province, to be held in Thailand early next year.
Apart from the rice deal, the working group will discuss cooperation in the education sector, exchanges of students and academics, cooperation on information technology and telecommunication and agro-industry development.
Zhu called for Thai exporters to concentrate on the quality of Thai fruits being exported to China, as a wide variety of Thai fruits _ durian, mangosteen, longan and banana _ are very popular in China.
Zhu said he is confident that these Thai fruits are excellent and said exporters should be honest about their products.
Trade volume between Thailand and Guangdong last year was $19 billion (598 billion baht).
Of this volume, agricultural products _ including rubber, tapioca, fruits and rice _ took up the largest share of the trade, Zhu said.
Surapong said Chinese traders wanted Thailand to quckly improve its management of logistical issues.
He said the government is trying to urge Thai traders to export high quality fruits to Guangdong because the people there have higher purchasing power than local Thais.
Thailand has also encouraged the Shenzhen Scope Company, located in Guangdong province, to set up a factory in Thailand in the hope that the firm will be a focal point for Chinese investors looking to export their products to other Asean countries, Surapong said.
The Chinese firm won the bid held by the Thai government for the production of tablet PCs for Prathom 1 students.
Surapong also said he expected that as many as two million Chinese visitors will travel to Thailand next year.
He said that currently about 1.5 million Chinese tourists visit Thailand a year. Of them, about one million come from Guangdong province.