A recent ban on the import of Thai tuna packed in soy oil has led the Thai authorities to push for mutual discussions with the Egyptians at the headquarters of the WTO in Geneva.
This ban, reported on by Bangkok Post is not the first case decided on by the Arab world. A similar barring of the same product was determined by Saudi Arabia, but cancelled following discussions with officials from Thailand, which resolved the issue.
Speaking to Bangkok Post, the deputy director general of the Thai Foreign Trade Department stated that this ban had begun earlier this year, restricting only the tuna packed in soy oil. The reason behind this decision was based on the concern that the soybeans used in the product may have been genetically modified. The import of tuna in sunflower oil or brine had not been banned.
The rules of the WTO allow the two parties to discuss the matter for a period of up to 60 days. If no agreement has been reached by the end of this designated period, the matter is directed to the WTO’s dispute settlement system.
In 1999, Thailand exported 21.8 billion baht ($516.66 million) of canned tuna, of which 769 million baht ($18.23 million) worth was exported to Egypt. — (Albawaba-MEBG)
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