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OREC

The Organisation of Rice Exporting Countries (OREC) describes a project of a small group of South-East Asian countries to create a homonymous organisation. The group is made up, in alphabetical order, of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. The project came to the attention of international media after remarks made publicly by Thailand's Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej on the 30th April 2008.

It is yet unclear whether the organisation's intention would be to create a rice price fixing cartel similar to the one of the OPEC for petroleum. However, it can be assumed that some price coordination will be the objective given the coincidence of the announcement with rising world-market prices for rice and the fact that all prospective members are traditional rice producers with high current export levels or export potentials for rice. Statements by the involved countries in early May indicated that a price-fixing cartel would only serve to "worsen food security" and the organization's purpose is "to contribute to ensuring food stability, not just in an individual country but also to address food shortages in the region and the world".