BAT joins growing calls for passage of competition law
Zinnia B. Dela Peña (The Philippine Star) - April 25, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - London-based British American Tobacco Philippines, maker of the Lucky Strike brand of cigarettes, has joined the growing calls for the passage of a competition law that would curb monopolies and unfair trade practices in the country.

“We support the call recently aired by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) and other business groups urging Congress to give priority to the enactment of these laws, which have been pushed in previous Congresses, but unfortunately have not been approved,” said BAT general manager James Lafferty.

“As a relatively new entrant and currently still small player in the tobacco industry, we recognize the importance of a robust competition law that can protect the interest of small players. This is true not only for tobacco but across all industries,” he added.

Lafferty concurred with the PCCI’s position that the proposed law, when implemented, would spur further growth of the local economy and attract more foreign investments into the country.

“It will make the Philippines more competitive and bring us up a notch towards the level of being a developed market. We hope this proposal becomes a priority measure of both the executive and legislative departments,” Lafferty said.

The country has yet to put in place a comprehensive anti-trust legislation. There is no single specialized agency in charge of competition enforcement in the Philippines.

The immediate passage of a Fair Trade and Competition Law is necessary in light of the impending economic integration of Southeast Asian countries by 2015.

The anti-trust bill seeks to prohibit the abuse of market-dominant positions and the excessive concentration of economic power by regulating unfair business practices and improper acts.

BAT is eyeing a strong double digit growth in its Philippine operations this year, mainly on the back of strong sales of low-cost brand Pall Mall and Lucky Strike’s Click & Roll cigarettes.

 

BRITISH AMERICAN TOBACCO PHILIPPINES COMPETITION FAIR TRADE AND COMPETITION LAW JAMES LAFFERTY LAFFERTY LAW LUCKY STRIKE PALL MALL AND LUCKY STRIKE PHILIPPINE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY SOUTHEAST ASIAN
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