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


  • Manila will have to join Asia-Pacific TPP trade bloc one day: minister

    April 11, 2014

    WASHINGTON – The Philippines will eventually have to join a market-opening trans-Pacific trade deal currently under negotiation once its market share, jobs and businesses start to suffer because of it, the country’s finance minister said on Thursday.

    The Philippines has not joined 12 other nations involved in negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) because of constitutional provisions limiting foreign ownership in some sectors it would need to open to join the pact.

    “Ultimately we’ll get there,” the country’s finance secretary, Cesar Purisima, told a seminar on the sidelines of the World Bank/IMF meetings in Washington.
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  • Experts label 10% soft drink tax ‘unfair’

    April 08, 2014

    HA NOI — A 10 percent tax would be imposed on carbonated soft drinks under a revised draft of the special consumption tax law released by the Ministry of Finance last Friday, which would take effect in July 2015.

    The ministry cited several studies that point out the potentially harmful effects of soft drinks on public health, suggesting that their consumption should be controlled in the same way as that of cigarettes and alcohol. However, some experts are vehemently opposed to the tax.

    “These products are popular and consumed in almost all rural areas, so it would be bad for consumers,” said Phan Huu Thang, Director of the Global Integration Business Consultants, who argued that the move would also hurt the sugar manufacturing industry, retail distribution system and individual businesses.
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  • US lowers tra fish anti-dumping duties

    April 02, 2014

    HCM CITY — The US Department of Commerce on March 31 announced its final decision on the ninth results of its administrative review (POR9) for anti-dumping duties on tra fish fillets imported from Viet Nam, the Viet Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) has said.

    Under the decision, Vietnamese frozen tra fish filets exported to the US are subjected to anti-dumping taxes.

    Accordingly, the anti-dumping duties on products of two mandatory reviewed companies, Vinh Hoan and Hung Vuong, are US$0.03 per kilo and $1.2 per kilo, respectively, and for other companies it is 0.42 per kilo.
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  • Climate change poses threat to human security: UN report

    April 01, 2014

    YOKOHAMA – Climate change can indirectly increase the likelihood of violent conflict by exacerbating risk factors such as poverty and economic shocks, a UN scientific body warned yesterday.

    After six days of talks through Sunday in Yokohama, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its latest report assessing the impacts of climate change on human and natural systems, options for adaptation and opportunities for the future.

    “Climate change over the 21st century is projected to reduce renewable surface water and groundwater resource significantly in most dry subtropical regions, intensifying competition for water,” the IPCC said.
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  • Swiss, UK watchdogs step up scrutiny on forex traders

    March 31, 2014

    Swiss and British regulators stepped up their scrutiny of alleged manipulation of foreign exchange markets on Monday, as watchdogs take a closer look at whether banks have a tight enough grip on the behavior of their traders.

    Switzerland’s competition commission WEKO said it opened an investigation into several Swiss, British and U.S. banks over potential collusion to manipulate currency rates.

    The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), meanwhile, said it will assess if banks have cut the risk of traders manipulating benchmark rates in the coming year, to see if lessons have been learned from the scandal over benchmark rate rigging.
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  • Foreign retailers seek looser rules

    March 31, 2014

    Foreign business associations have urged the Government to loosen and make more transparent the economic needs test (ENT) that foreign retailers have to pass to establish their second and subsequent outlets.

    With a population of nearly 90 million, rapid economic growth, and a youthful population eager to keep up with the latest trends, Vietnam is a potential gold mine for retailers, Hong Sun, secretary general of the Korea Chamber of Business in Vietnam, told a consultation and dialogue held with businesses on ENT criteria in Ho Chi Minh City on March 28.

    “But foreign distribution companies have not been able to fully penetrate the market due to the ENT process – an effective tool the Vietnamese Government has used to control the development of foreign distribution networks in Vietnam,” he said.
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  • A string of mega deals drives global M&A recovery in Q1

    March 27, 2014

    A string of large transactions drove the value of global mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity up by 54 percent in the first quarter compared to the same period last year, reflecting greater deal-making confidence among chief executives.

    The value of worldwide announced deals totalled $710 billion in the first three months of the year, according to Thomson Reuters data, which includes competing bids for Time Warner Cable and SFR. Global M&A is up 35 percent excluding these competing bids.

    Almost half of the M&A pot came from deals worth $5 billion or more.
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  • Plausibility of a price ceiling

    March 29, 2014

    Milk price stabilization seems initially to be more forceful this time with a proposal to impose a price ceiling applicable to dairy products for children under six. Is such a price cap legitimate and workable?

    In line with the Price Law, price ceiling is a form of price setting by the State. Price administering agencies need to examine whether milk is a product in a position of monopoly or oligopoly before making any decision thereon. If it is not the case, setting a price ceiling will infringe the Price Law and the Competition Law.
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