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Farm groups turn up heat on Airbus

Erstellt von Peter-Horst, 23.08.2002, 08:59 Uhr · 0 Antworten · 625 Aufrufe

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    Farm groups turn up heat on Airbus

    Farm groups turn up heat on Airbus

    A group of 17 farm associations yesterday came out in opposition to plans by Thai Airways International to purchase nine Airbus aircraft, citing ongoing trade barriers set by the European Union to Thai agricultural exports.

    National associations representing the poultry, animal feed and shrimp industries submitted a letter of protest to Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and the cabinet.

    The letter said Thailand should not purchase aircraft from Airbus Industrie, the European planemaker, unless negotiations to ease import restrictions against Thai products saw progress.

    THAI this week announced it would spend up to 700 billion baht on aircraft procurement, upgrades and new investments over the next five years, including the purchase of 12 new aircraft. Nine of the planes are expected to be Airbuses.

    Over the past year, Thailand has had a trade dispute with the EU regarding the alleged presence in local chicken and shrimp exports of nitrofurans, a veterinary drug.

    The EU has strengthened its testing for antibiotic residues on all shrimps and poultry from Thailand. The country is due to negotiate the issue with the EU again early next month.

    The associations complained that the EU used highly sensitive equipment to test Thai products without notice, causing discrepancies in testing results. The EU used equipment that could detect up to 0.3 parts per billion (ppb) of residues while the Thai equipment could not detect residue levels below 10 ppb.

    Thailand, therefore, had to purchase compatible testing equipment from the Netherlands. The associations said the Thai side had tried to solve problems by controlling imports of banned chemicals and withdrawing licences for animal drugs and chemicals that had banned chemicals as ingredients.

    ``The EU did not give us time to adjust to the new requirement. It keeps testing all consignments of Thai poultry while testing only 10% of poultry exports from Brazil whose products also have chemical residues. Besides, Brazil exports more products to the EU than Thailand does,'' the letter claimed.

    The associations also said it was reported that the EU had detected banned chemicals in food produced in some of its member countries.

    ``This means that requirements imposed by the EU on its trading partners is a trade barrier and unfair to Thailand.''

    The measures have resulted in a sharp drop of 29.5% in Thai poultry exports to the EU, to only 105,000 tonnes in the first half of this year. The figure in the same period last year was 149,000 tonnes, accounting for 30% of all poultry exports.

    Thai poultry exporters are now facing higher testing costs, while chicken raisers are affected by plunging prices.

    Thai shrimp exporters are also facing a similar problem.

    The associations urged the Thai government not to allow the national carrier to purchase planes from the EU. They wanted negotiations for relaxation of standards, particularly on poultry products, and asked the EU to give more time to Thai exporters to adjust to the new conditions, as well as extending technical assistance to help solve any remaining problems.

    Adirek Sripratak, chief operating officer of Charoen Pokphand Foods Plc, a leading poultry and shrimp exporter, said the government should be able to defend the country effectively in upcoming talks because Thailand had already tried its best to solve the problem.

    Thanong Bidaya, THAI's chairman, said he had asked representatives of both Airbus and Boeing to deliver Thailand's message to their respective countries, urging them to consider buying back Thai farm products.

    Representatives of Airbus replied that it would be possible to send the Thai message to the EU, according to Mr Thanong.

    No official from the delegation of the European Commission in Bangkok was available for comment yesterday.

    Was will ich Euch damit sagen:

    Es ist für mich wieder "typisch Thai" nicht das Problem zu lösen sondern eine andere Disskusion zu beginnen.


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