(R-L) Juan Manuel Vieites and Alberto Nuñez Feijóo at the 4° World Conference of Canned Seafood. (Photo: Xoan Crespo/Xunta)
Galicia and Anfaco demand equal treatment for domestic and foreign canneries
Wednesday, September 12, 2012, 02:20 (GMT + 9)
The president of Xunta de Galicia, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, sent the EU executive a proposal developed together with the Galician canning industry to demand that imported products meet the same requirements as the local ones.
Under the framework of the Fourth World Conference of Canned Seafood held in Vigo, the Galician President said he feels "hopeful" that the initiative will be subject to "rigorous analysis."
"We stand for a fair framework to compete against the real inequality that exists," stated Nuñez Feijóo. In this regard, he stressed that all the products sold in Europe must meet the same requirements, the newspaper Faro de Vigo reported.
Furthermore, he invited the representatives of the European organizations that were present such as the Directorate of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries and the Directorate General for Trade of the European Commission (EC), to be "near the estuaries, seas, fleets and canned products and away from papers."
Juan Manuel Vieites, general secretary of the National Association of Manufacturers of Canned Fish and Shellfish (Anfaco-Cecopesca), explained that "the main demands of the sector have to do with issues related to commercial aspects, resource supply and sustainability."
Thus, he advocates having "a playing field that is the same for all." In addition, he rejected that "some are exempted [referring to the existing agreements with third countries] and others are forced to meet certain standards, even when they are local."
The Galician government's arguments and those of Anfaco make reference to the fisheries agreement between the EU and Papua New Guinea, which allows the entry of products from that country to the EU market without paying tariffs.
The representative of the Directorate of Maritime Affairs of the EC, Stefaan Depypere ensured that the dialogue and the direct contact with the sector "is one of the priorities" of the EU Commissioner of Fisheries, Maria Damanaki.
Meanwhile, the EU director general of trade, Jerome Broche, acknowledged that the Southeast of Asia is "a threat" to the processing sector.
The unfair competition in Papua will be slowing because "it has a lot of natural gas and labour costs are raising and are double that of other countries," Broche added, the newspaper La Voz de Galicia reported.
- Impact of tuna industry agreement with Papua under study
By Analia Murias