Collaborative effort by government and private sector key to promote legitimate investments

Perspectives

Realizing that battling counterfeits, contraband, illicit and illegal trade protects and boosts legitimate manufacturing and trade, the Ministry of Commerce has supported importing, producing, selling and distribution of alcohol and beer in line with the
trade policy.
A Notification No. (8/2013) prohibited the import of foreign alcohol, beer and cigarettes.
But, in keeping up with improving situations and in light of increasing foreign travelers into Myanmar, the Ministry of Commerce has permitted sales of limited amounts of alcohol, beer and cigarettes in duty-free shops in international airports and also in hotels, after gaining a recommendation from the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism.
Hence, hotels have to adhere to the written guidelines to increase administration in ensuring that the points in their alcohol license and retail license are followed.
As part of efforts for fighting the counterfeit products and illicit trading, Deputy Minister for Commerce U Aung Htoo has urged the authorities of the ministry to step up efforts for monitoring of counterfeit alcohol entering the country, making fake alcohol in the country, and the sale of alcohol and beer without a license in the country. At the same time, the ministry would take measures to control over purchasing of alcohol in international airports above the permitted limit. He also suggested a new system of taxing per bottle production in local breweries and distilleries to be adopted and that tax rates be increased.
At the same time, local breweries need to be carefully monitored to ensure their product quality is up to standards.
There have been rampant sale and distribution of counterfeit alcohol in Myanmar.
Counterfeits and contraband erode the consumer confidence in established brands, deny legitimate businesses a level playing field and end up shaking confidence in business and investments.
A loss of confidence in established products is also a loss of revenue for the government and the country.
It is necessary for the government agencies to conduct long-term enforcements and for companies to use technology in the fight against the counterfeits to make it possible for customers to easily verify the authenticity of the products.
Because, their legitimate business makes valuable contributions to the socio-economic well-being of the people.
A collaborative effort shared by the government agencies and industry players will help to deal with unscrupulous players and to encourage legitimate investments – a key factor for the country’s economic growth.

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