Thai sugar mills are urging sugar-producing countries to stop subsidising their exports, saying it is not conducive to sustainable development.
Cherdpong Siriwit, chairman of the Thai Sugar Millers Association, said after last month's annual meeting of the Global Sugar Alliance (GSA) that the latter will urge the EU to follow World Trade Organisation (WTO) guidelines calling for a halt to sugar export subsidies.
The meeting is a gathering of 85% of the world's sugar exporters.
"There is clear evidence that EU countries subsidise their sugar exporters, thereby affecting global sugar prices," said Mr Cherdpong, adding that if the movement is successful, Thailand can increase its sugar exports.
"Thailand is the world's second-largest sugar exporter, so we need to cooperate with the GSA in urging countries to exercise free trade in sugar. This will result in good global prices," he said.
Greg Beashel, the GSA's chief executive, said if the group does not push this issue, then the importance of the WTO will decline, as subsidising sugar prices runs counter to market mechanisms and only hurts countries that produce sugar at lower cost.
He said the GSA will place priority on finding supporting the Doha Round of talks by urging the US and the EU to act in accordance with 2005 measures aimed at halting export subsidies by late next year.
Mr Beashel said relying on market mechanisms promotes economic growth and food security better than using trade subsidies or setting quotas or taxes.
About the author
- Writer: Nanchanok Wongsamuth
Position: News Reporter