Thailand in South East Asia is an enterprising country and is globally ranked 34 amongst 125 countries by the World Economic Forum. Though it had one of the highest GDP growth during the last two decades of last millennium, the economy was adversely affected during the economic melt down subsequently. Thailand ranked 7th for its exports valued at about $ 105 billion and it is the top rice export country in the world. Almost 55% of its arable land is cultivated with rice. Thailand was once known for its Cassava exports and Pineapple industry though these have declined dramatically during the last few years.
"Asia is a major food supplier for the rest of the world, while Thailand is ranked as the seventh top food-exporting country globally. The continent must urgently adopt more sophisticated technology and innovations, in order to ensure sustainable growth in the industry amid rising concerns about food problems". Darunee Edwards, president of the Food Science and Technology Association of Thailand, called climate change the greatest challenge for the food industry. "Many countries are becoming increasingly concerned about this problem, as it will affect food production and the environment. Food suppliers must increase their efficiency in the use of raw materials, energy and water in response," she said."Darunee warned more non-tariff barriers based on environmental and food-safety concerns would be imposed by importing countries. Thai food manufacturers must develop themselves to meet these standards or else face export difficulties".
That Thailand is well aware of the problems it may face in future, to sustain its role as a global leader in some of the areas, is reflected by the above admission by the country's senior food expert. What is true for Thailand applies to all countries with aspirations to find an honorable place in the comity of nations vis-à-vis global trading and there is no alternative to technology upgrading through innovative R & D, improved food safety and high product quality.