Thai Deputy Prime Minister Supachai Panitchpakdi called on Japan Friday to assist Thailand’s growing agricultural sector by opening its farm market to Thai products, Foreign Ministry officials said.

Supachai made the request at a meeting in Tokyo with Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura. Supachai, who is also commerce minister, told Komura that Thai’s agricultural sector is becoming more important as it absorbs labor forces from the ailing industrial sector and is contributing significantly to the entire economy, the officials said.

Komura responded that Japan is making efforts to further open its agricultural market but the process is not easy, they said.

Supachai said Thailand’s economic growth is projected to be minus 6 percent this year, according to the officials. Komura meanwhile told Supachai that Japan will promote efforts to develop the Mekong basin following Cambodia’s successful general election, the officials said.

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