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Thai government promotes use of rubber to support price

New boss of rubber authority installed, aggressive steps planned to cut supply

A worker in a rubber plantation in Yala province, southern Thailand.   © Reuters

BANGKOK -- Thailand, the world's biggest producer and exporter of rubber, is seeking to increase local demand for the commodity by providing financial support to buyers, as well as encouraging all government agencies to use more of it.

Agriculture Minister Grisada Boonrach said the government was trying to attract private companies, in particular small and medium enterprises, to innovate and invest in the production of more finished rubber products, such as condoms, gloves and mattresses, and move on from the past focus on exporting it as a raw material for use in the tyre industry.

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