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Thailand will trade dried longan fruit for armoured vehicles
under a barter agreement set to be signed within three months
with China North Industries Corporation (NORINCO). A
memorandum of understanding outlining the deal was
concluded in Bangkok on 13 May.
The arrangement was announced earlier this month by a senior
Thai official, Gen Sumpun Bookyanun, who said it is valued at
Bt2 billion ($51.3 million). Initial media reports erroneously stated
that the Royal Thai Army (RTA) would obtain “tanks” in return for
The acquisition involves the WMZ-551B 6 x 6 armoured personnel
carrier (APC). Details of the agreement have yet to be released
but JDW has learned that the RTA will acquire 97 armoured vehicles.
Most are destined for the 2nd Army Region in the northeast
and some will be for the police.
Janes Defence Weekly VOL. 42 • 25 MAY 2005 • ISSUE NO.21