Macao Acts against Bulk Buying of Baby Formula
    2011-02-17 20:12:12      Web Editor: Liu

The Macao authority has acted against mainland tourists' recent scare buying of milk powder products, as the local pharmacy association has promised to limit the mass-quantity buying at one time, the National Business Daily reports.

The purchasing wave started before the Spring Festival, and has led to a shortage of baby formula in Macao and Hong Kong, where the price is kept much lower due to their lowering of tax exemption standard for products shipped from overseas.

As the formula shortage haunts Macao and Hong Kong, some milk agents took the chance to raise milk powder prices, which has triggered public anger among local residents.

To ease people's anger, pharmacies in Macao, where milk powders are usually available for sale, will keep some products in stock to secure supply for local buyers, according to an announcement posted on the official website of Macao SAR Government.

However, it seems that similar protective measures fail to allay local people's discontent over the buying up of baby formula.

The report said some concerned parents in Hong Kong are appealing for a departure tax on milk powder that is being taken out of the region.

In a response to the action, many Macao parents also called for a departure tax to ease the baby food shortage.

The appeal got support from some Hong Kong councilors, but was denied by the SAR government, claiming that the tax violates Hong Kong's agreement with the World Trade Organization.

Zhao Qingzheng, secretary-general of the Dairy Association of Shenzhen in south China's Guangdong province, said mainlanders are still fluttering with fear over mainland milk powders due to the melamine scandal three years ago. He said the buying is a normal market behavior, so the authority and association should not meddle in the affair.

Zhao said he could not predict whether Macao's measures could be immediately effective, but added that the issue should be solved through market's rational self-adjustment.

It is reported that by press time, Hong Kong authority has not taken any protective measures.


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