Due to a lack of raw materials to supply food manufacturers at home, Japanese food producers have shown interest to co-invest in food production with Thai counterparts, a report this week in the Thai publication, Business Day, reveals. Thai Commerce Minister Adisai Bhodaramik commented, "The fact that Japanese investors are interested in investing in food processing plants in Thailand is a good sign for the country, which is in need of foreign investment." Adisai said widening the Japanese market for Thai products was not an easy task because the Japanese consumers are now more thrifty with their spending. "If the Japanese managed to spend their money, it would be good sign for Thailand's economy," he said. According to the report, Japan imports rice from Thailand at an annual average of about 700,000 tonnes but current trade barriers imposed by the Japanese government restrict Thailand from exporting more of its products into Japan.