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RP likely to lift import ban on Thai poultry soon

The Philippines - the last country in Asean to ban Thai frozen chicken - will soon consider allowing imports of the product to resume.

"Thailand should enjoy more opportunities to increase shipments to the Philippines, which is one of the high-potential markets for chicken and many other products," Somkiat Triratpan, deputy director-general of the Trade Negotiations Department, said yesterday.

The Philippine Agriculture Department told Somkiat's agency recently that it planned to lift the ban on Thai frozen chicken that has been in effect since 2004, he said.

Thailand has sent many negotiation teams to persuade the Philippines to allow purchases of Thai poultry.

"The Philippines has high confidence to import frozen chicken from Thailand as it acknowledges our high sanitary standards after many countries have already cancelled import bans on Thai chicken," he said.

The other markets that were closed to Thai frozen chicken but are now open include the European Union, Japan, Bahrain, Hong Kong, South Africa, Russia and the United Arab Emirates.

Manila stopped buying frozen and processed chicken from Thailand because of a bird-flu outbreak here.

If the Philippines scraps the import ban soon, it will also emphasise safety standards for Thai chicken. Thai suppliers should continue to maintain high sanitary standards to ensure export opportunities to many markets. Thailand is the world's fourth-largest chicken exporter after Brazil, the United States and the EU. In the past five years from 2009-13, Thai chicken exports grew 9 per cent a year on average. Last year, they were valued at Bt66.32 billion.

Major overseas markets for Thai chicken are Japan, accounting for 37.9 per cent of total exports by value, the EU at 37.8 per cent, Asean at 14.0 per cent and other countries at 9.2 per cent.


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