Vietnam and the Philippines will soon sign a rice trade pact to ensure food security. The announcement was made following a meeting between Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit in Indonesia.
Vietnam is the world’s third-largest rice exporter in 2022, coming in after India and Thailand. The Philippines is Vietnam’s largest buyer, filling nearly 90% of its import needs.
Marcos, who is also the Philippines’ agriculture secretary, welcomed Vietnam’s offer of a five-year supply deal. “Just having that as an assurance will stabilize the situation, not only for the Philippines but for all of us in the region,” Marcos told Chinh, according to a statement issued by his office.
“Our two countries will conclude an… agreement on rice trade so that our rice export to the Philippines will ensure food security in the Philippines. We look forward to having a stable framework of cooperation on rice trade for a long period of at least five years. With that, we can ensure our production and you can also ensure imports from Vietnam,” stated Chinh.
In early September, the Philippines began enforcing price ceilings for rice to protect consumers against what the government called “widespread price manipulation by traders in league with industry cartels.”
“We hope that we can find an agreement so that there will be an exchange,” said Marcos. The talks on rice deals with Vietnam have been ongoing since August.