Vietnam orders 150 firms to register prices

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The Ministry of Finance has named 150 companies that must register their prices with the authorities, including major foreign-owned dairy firms.

The list of companies was published Thursday on the government website.

It named seven dairy firms, including foreign producers like Friesland Campina, Nestlé, Mead Johnson, Meiji and 3A Pharma, the official distributor of Abbott in Vietnam.

Also on the list are eight cement producers, 18 steel companies, eight sugar producers, 10 animal feed manufacturers and five liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) traders.

These companies will be required to register their prices when they launch a new product for the first time or whenever ordered to do so by the authorities.

Previous regulations required only companies with 50 percent state capital to register their prices with the authorities.

Last month foreign milk companies and the ambassadors of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the US and the EU raised their concerns about the new price control effort. They said it would affect Vietnam's commitments as a WTO member and warned that it could also hinder foreign investment.

Nguyen Tien Thoa, head of the Price Management Department at the Ministry of Finance, said the new regulation does not break any WTO commitments.

He said it is in accordance with a previous government decree that lists milk as one of the commodities whose prices must be kept stable.

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