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Thailand Denies To Monopolize And Distort The World Tuna Market European Union, September 12, 13


Mr. Chanintr Chalisarapong, President of the Asian-Thai Tuna IndustryAssociation

Discussions surrounding a trade agreement between the European Union and Thailand took center stage at the Tuna Conference in Vigo. Thailand’s presentation focused on contesting the main complaints by the Spanish canning sector of its tuna industry.

Negotiations saw president of the Asian-Thai Tuna Industry Association, Chanintr Chalisarapong push Thailand’s request for unlimited quantities of duty free tuna exports to the EU canning market.

He disputed that the country was a hoarder of tuna inventories and was trying to distort the world tuna market, and emphasized that Thailand was merely attempting to maintain and expand its market share. “Our strategy is not to focus on one market but have trade agreements with most countries of the world and we already have almost 300. The community market only represents ten percent of our exports,” he said.

Mr. Chalisarapong stated that the current 24 percent tariff implemented on Thai canned tuna exports to the EU market was too high. Spanish canning association, however, advocated for maintaining the existing duty.

In the conference presentation from Thailand, Chalisarapong stressed his view Thai tuna industry being a victim to the EU trade agreement with Papua New Guinea. He stated that with the current 24% duty stamped on Thai exports to the EU, other countries such as PNG with 0% duty form unfair competition for the Thai canners. He also mentioned that China, Vietnam and Philippines have more favorable duty tariffs into the EU than Thailand “If we do nothing, we will not survive,” he said.

He also highlighted the efforts and the hard work in the last year of his country to meet international standard on human rights, labor and health and hygiene.

The Secretary General of the Spanish National Association of Canned Seafood Producers Anfaco-Cecopesca, Juan Manuel Vieites, acknowledged that continuous attempts for a trade agreement by Thailand over the last few years and even as recently as the past couple of months have all been rejected.