Consumer sovereignty in the framework of social justice, economic equality and environmental balance, within and across borders


  • Milk prices stable after price limit takes effect

    August 21, 2014

    Milk prices have stabilised after the Finance Ministry applied a ceiling price in June on milk products consumed by children under six in the domestic market.

    The ceiling on prices came after a long period of irregular prices being applied on milk products. The ministry would promote further price stabilisation in the near future.

    In June, there were 25 milk product lines on which the ceiling price was applied. However, many enterprises have changed the commercial name of their milk products and are selling them as nutrition or supplementary foods, the ministry said.
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  • Businesses unaware of competition rules

    August 21, 2014

    Though the Law on Competition took effect in 2005, only a small number of enterprises understand its provisions, a seminar heard yesterday in HCM City.

    The law aims to preserve the rights of enterprises to compete freely and lawfully with each other, said Pham Van Cao of the Viet Nam Competition Administration Department (VCAD) under the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

    Competitive practices by an enterprise that are contrary to general standards of business ethics and which cause, or may cause, damage to the interests of the State and/or the legitimate rights and interests of other enterprises or consumers are defined as unfair competitive practices, Cao said.
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  • China taps South Korea for ideas in Qualcomm antitrust case

    August 21, 2014

    Chinese antitrust officials have met with their South Korean counterparts to discuss violations by U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm Inc (QCOM.O), sources said, as Beijing reaches out to regulators overseas to complete a case that could result in record fines at home.

    Qualcomm is one of at least thirty foreign firms to come under scrutiny as China seeks to enforce a 2008 anti-monopoly law – efforts some critics say have unfairly targeted overseas businesses, raising protectionism concerns.

    The Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) fined San Diego-based Qualcomm more than $200 million in 2009 for abusing its dominant market position, but the stakes are bigger in China, where an investigation by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) could trigger changes to Qualcomm’s licensing deals and fines of as much as a tenth of a company’s annual revenue.
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  • SE Asia economic integration could worsen inequality: study

    August 20, 2014

    JAKARTA – A plan by Southeast Asian countries to establish a European Union-inspired single market next year could worsen inequality and is likely to benefit men more than women, a new study warned on Wednesday (Aug 20).

    The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has set 2015 as the target to create a single economic market across the 10-nation bloc that is home to some 600 million people. It is aimed at improving the flow of goods, services, investment and labour around the region, whose economic powers have long faced criticism for failing to work together more effectively.

    The single market could add an extra 14 million new jobs and boost Southeast Asia’s annual growth 7.1 per cent by 2025, according to the joint study by the UN’s International Labour Organisation and the Asian Development Bank.
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  • China fines Japanese auto parts makers record $201 million for price-fixing

    August 20, 2014

    China has fined Japanese auto parts makers a record 1.235 billion yuan ($201 million) for manipulating prices as the government steps up its enforcement of an anti-trust law that has targeted major corporations and revived protectionism concerns.

    The fines, the largest so far meted out by the pricing regulator, the National Development Reform Commission (NDRC), follow a global crack down including in the United States and Europe on price collusion in the auto parts sector, which has also mostly affected Japanese companies.

    In China, parts maker Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd (5802.T) was the hardest hit by the NDRC with a 290.4 million yuan fine.
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  • China finds Mercedes-Benz guilty of price manipulation

    August 18, 2014

    German car maker Daimler AG’s luxury brand division Mercedes-Benz has been found guilty of manipulating prices for after-sales services in China, the official Xinhua news agency reported, citing authorities in Jiangsu province.

    An array of industries, from milk powder makers to tech firms, have been coming under the spotlight in recent years as China intensifies its efforts to bring companies into compliance with a 2008 anti-monopoly law.

    That legislation allows the country’s anti-trust regulator, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), to impose fines of up to 10 percent of a ompany’s Chinese revenues for the previous year.
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  • A budget boon for jet-lagged traders

    August 17, 2014

    For AirAsia and its head honcho Tony Fernandes, services must be made affordable and accessible to more consumers.

    That was why Asia’s largest low-cost carrier last week announced two additional services aimed at giving loyal customers more value for money.

    To grant “flexibility to discerning business travelers,” AirAsia has unveiled “Premium Flex,” which its chief executive Fernandes says will primarily benefit small and medium entrepreneurs who always have to be on the go.
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  • Big challenges remain for East-West corridor nations

    August 16, 2014

    DA NANG — Countries in the East-West Economic Corridor (EWEC) – Myanmar, Thailand, Laos and Viet Nam – face many changes before the ASEAN Community makes its debut next December.

    Director of the Mekong Institute, Watcharas Leelawath, yesterday spoke about the ASEAN community 2015 and its impact on regional co-operation on the corridor.

    “The differences in procedures, regulations and laws are still the biggest obstructions to the establishment of the ASEAN Community,” Leelawath said.

    “Slow changes in administrative reform and protection of domestic markets will also delay the acceleration of trade and investment among countries in the corridor,” he said.
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