Vietnam may remove cap on baby formula prices: report

Thanh Nien News

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A shelf of baby formula in a Ho Chi Minh City supermarket. Photo: Dao Ngoc Thach/Thanh Nien A shelf of baby formula in a Ho Chi Minh City supermarket. Photo: Dao Ngoc Thach/Thanh Nien

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Vietnam will possibly remove a price cap imposed on baby formula products two years ago in response to requests from foreign investors.
At a meeting with the US Trade Representative Michael Froman on Tuesday, Finance Minister Dinh Tien Dung said the government will consider lifting the ceiling this July, the finance ministry's website reported.
Dung was responding to concerns about Vietnam's control over dairy products' prices, it said.
The European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam has more than once urged the government to reduce and then stop intervening in markets with administrative measures, according to local media.
Vietnam started applying the pricing policy in June 2014 following media reports and public complaints that the local prices of baby formula were much higher than those in other Southeast Asian countries. They also said the prices kept increasing regardless of drops in input costs.
By the end of March, the finance ministry had controlled the wholesale prices of 831 brands of producers such as Japan's Meiji, the Netherlands' FrieslandCampina, the US's Abbott and Mead Johnson, and Vietnam's Vinamilk, according to official figures.
Under existing rules which are slated to last until the end of this year, retailers can add a maximum markup of 15 percent.

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