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Asia co-ordinating to ban shipping liner cartels

Singapore: Asia is likely to be the next region to ban liner shipping pricing conferences delegates at the Global Shippers' Forum (GSF) were told this week. The regulatory decision to forbid the meetings under the heading of monopoly anti-competition practises, put forward as part of the Joint Shippers' Declaration, echoes similar efforts by authorities in Europe and North America. The declaration was signed by the Asian Shippers' Council (ASC), Canadian Industrial Transportation Association, the ESC, Japan Shippers' Council and the NITL.

Speaking a the GSF, John Lu, ASC chairman said that the task would not prove easy as the various countries in the region boast diverse political and economic systems, making it difficult to implement policy uniformly.

However, Lu believes that the EU's commitment to outlaw monopolistic practices by October 2008 has set a powerful precedent and that the recent talks in India and China about the conferences indicates that the problem is already in the limelight and will be dealt with rapidly - possibly even by end 2008. 'Then you would really have a globalised world that is led by commercial economic force rather than artificially determined by cartel. This cartel system is quite unthinkable,' he said.

Other topics discussed at the forum included environmental concerns and the controversial US container scanning initiative.  [21/09/07]

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