Thailand – Australia SPS Expert Group and JWG Meetings, Chiangmai

13-15 September 2017 Office of Agricultural Affairs, Canberra participated in the The 13th Meeting of the Expert Group on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures and Food Standards or (SPS Expert Group) and The 17th Meeting of the Thailand – Australia Joint Working Group on Agriculture (JWG) organized by Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives (MOAC) at Sirapanna Villa Resort and Spa, Chiangmai. The Australian delegation from Department of Agriculture and Water Resources joined the excursion to visit to the Royal Project Foundation and Royal Project Inthanon in Chiangmai.

Ms. Doojduen Sasanavin, Secretary General of National Bureau of Agriculture Commodities and Food Standards and Mrs. Louis van Meurs, First Assistant Secretary, Trade and Market Access Division of Department of Agriculture and Water Resources co-chaired the SPS Expert Group meeting. Both sides updated each other on most recent standards, regulations and measures relating to import and export issues. Progress and follow-ups on last year’s meeting were also informed. Australia notified Thailand on the termination of suspension for imported raw prawn due to white spot disease. The pending issues discussed during the meeting involved market access for cooked duck meat, mangoes and fresh gingers from Thailand and avocado and persimmon from Australia. The meeting was also informed of the progress on prawn disease laboratory equivalence activities and the outcome of the past year’s and future technical cooperation.

The JWG meeting was co-chaired by Dr. Juadee Pongmaneerat, Inspector-General of MOAC and Mrs. Louis van Meurs. Both sides updated each other on the national agricultural policies. The meeting was informed of the outcomes and progress of technical cooperation conducted in the past year and future planning. Pilot projects on Thai young smart farmer development, dairy capacity building, organic vegetable production and marketing systems, technical assistance for increasing goat and sheep production were proposed for consideration. The next 2018 SPS Expect Group and JWG meetings will be hosted in Australia during this time of the year.