Thaifex 2017 blog: You're no longer suitable : June 2, 2017
That’s what Thai producers heard from the European Union a few years ago, even before the forced labor scandal came about — and exporters are still suffering the severe impact.
“Spain used to be a huge market for us four years ago, and it’s residual now, same as Italy,” Tanyisa Luengrungroj, overseas branch manager in Europe at CP Foods, told Intrafish
After two days at the Thaifex show, the GSP topic resonates whenever one mentions Europe.
“It killed the market,” said Choopong Luesukprasert, managing director of Marine Gold Products.
Producers and traders are equally agreeing on the fact the high taxes clearly benefit direct competitors of Thailand, such as Vietnam.
Why was GSP implemented” They say they don’t know.
“The EU decided that the Thai product was no longer suitable for the market, Thailand lost its status in the GSP scheme, and the EU implemented those tariffs,” Jim Gulkin, managing director of Siam Canadian, told Intrafish.
“It was before the labor scandal, and although that doesn’t make the situation better, I don’t think that was the reason, it was very political, something to do with political preferences over countries with which EU members have a long relationship,” Gulkin said.
Asked if Brexit could at least open the doors for the UK market he said; “ It could, but it’s to be seen, the UK is looking for free-trade agreements, but Vietnam has been looking for that with the EU for some time and that has gotten nowhere, so will the UK partner with Thailand, or Vietnam, or someone else?
“That is something we don’t know.”