The US and Thailand are to negotiate a free trade agreement this year, which will especially be focused on boosting the trade in food products between the two countries.

The US trade representative Robert Zoellick said in a note to Congress that a deal “would be particularly beneficial” for US food producers “who have urged us forward.”

He added that the US is one of the largest suppliers of agricultural products to the Thai market, which was the 16th largest market for US farm exports in 2002. “Elimination of Thailand’s high duties and other barriers in the agricultural sector would create new opportunities,” said Zoellick.