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Pirated sheets hurt VN steel firms

Update: November, 28/2014 - 07:59

Counterfeit and pirated steel sheets have flooded the domestic market and created a headache for the domestic steel industry. — Photo tuoitrethudo

HA NOI (VNS) — Counterfeit and pirated steel sheets have flooded the domestic market and created a headache for the domestic steel industry.

Le Phuoc Vu, chief executive officer of the Hoa Sen Steel Group, made this declaration at a seminar on trade fraud in Viet Nam's steel sheet market held here on Wednesday.

The Vietnam Economic Times, Viet Nam Steel Association (VSA) and (VATAP) organised the seminar.

Vu recalled a recent National Assembly meeting where Industry and Trade Minister Vu Huy Hoang answered questions of deputies on illegal trade. Hoang was quoted as saying the counterfeit sheets were often inferior and have made the public lose confidence in the genuine product.

Vu revealed that in the first 10 months of 2014, his company lost productivity equivalent to 45,000 tonnes of sheet metal worth VND118 billion (US$5.7 million). He estimated total losses in the industry caused by copycat products to reach VND906 billion ($42.1 million).

Le The Bao, VATAP chairman, explained that copycat steel sheets were often made using low-quality material from China.

Domestic traders print well-known trademarks such as Ton Hoa Sen, Vnsteel Thang Long, Phuong Nam and Tisco on copycat products to deceive customers, he noted.

Bao added that there was no ad hoc agency responsible for controlling the quality of steel production by household businesses.

Nguyen Van Sua, VSA deputy chairman, said the counterfeit and pirated steel sheets were widely produced in the northern provinces, including Thanh Hoa, Bac Ninh, Bac Giang and Vinh Phuc, as well as Phu Tho, Thai Nguyen and Ha Noi.

Nguyen Trong Tin, deputy head of the Market Surveillance Department, said in the first 10 months, his office detected and confiscated 10,000 tonnes of copycat steel sheets . In Ha Noi alone, it confiscated about 200 tonnes of copycat sheets.

Vu acknowledged that his corporation was unable to compete with hundreds of copycat steel sheet producers everywhere.

He said the fight against copycat steel sheets required concerted co-ordination among authorised agencies to solve the problem and ensure fair competition among domestic producers. — VNS

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