The Thai government's continuing efforts towards addressing human trafficking – especially in the fishery industry – has yielded concrete results after the US Department of State upgraded Thailand's status to Tier 2, from Tier 3 previously, on its Watch List of Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report, as released on June 30, 2016.
During the two years before Thailand was downgraded to Tier 3, the US did not impose any trade or economic restrictions on us. Therefore, any direct impact from the upgrade in Thailand's status to Tier 2 may be limited. However, we may indirectly benefit from the improved product image.
KResearch is of the view that the outlook for Thai fishery exports to the US in 2016 looks bright. We expect that such shipments will revert to growth for the first time in four years by perhaps 3.0-5.0 percent YoY due to a recovery in shrimp production here and the fact that this product is an important export category for us to the US. Thailand's upgraded status to Tier 2 should also help improve the image of Thai products abroad and other fishery exports to the US, going forward.