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Rubberwood Ban in Thailand

Rubberwood Ban in Thailand

Rubber planters and businesses in Thailand are protesting a ban on exports of rubberwood sawnwood, saying it could affect thousands of workers in the timber sector especially in the southern provinces.

About 100 representatives of farmers and operators gathered in Hat Yai, the country's rubber trading centre, to map out a strategy to oppose the policy announced by Deputy Agriculture Minister Newin Chidchob. They are threatening to mobilise 40,000 members in a mass protest if Mr Newin does not change his mind.

In a statement issued after a meeting with Mr Newin protestors accused the government of deciding the policy without having an understanding of the rubberwood business. The policy, if it remains in force, allows only exports of value-added products such as rubberwood furniture and supporters of the move say it is in an attempt to save the wood for local manufacturers.

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