Kyrgyzstan is looking to attract foreign investment in its tobacco production industry, according to a story in The Times of Central Asia quoting Kyrgyz Agriculture Ministry figures.
The country produced 7,400 tons of mainly Dubek semi-oriental tobacco last year, but the crop’s value, at 631 million soms, was down from 1.083 billion soms the previous year.
Last year, too, Kyrgyzstan exported raw tobacco worth 13.3 million soms while importing from 24 countries cigarettes worth 51.8 million soms.
The Agriculture Ministry has submitted to the Kyrgyz government a proposal for developing the industry through the attraction of direct foreign investments during 2013-2015.
The proposal is aimed at improving the quality of the country’s raw and fermented tobacco, increasing its raw tobacco and cigarette production, increasing the export potential of the tobacco industry, and attracting investments to fund the modernization of fermentation factories and the construction of a cigarette factory in southern Kyrgyzstan. It aims, too, to ban the export of raw, unfermented tobacco.
The proposal includes also measures to improve the living standard of those people living in tobacco-growing regions by the creation of new jobs and the prevention of the ‘artificial lowering of purchasing prices for raw tobacco sold by local farmers’.
Tobacco is grown in three southern Kyrgyz regions — Osh, Jalal-Abad, and Batken
The Irish Prime Minister, Enda Kenny, has been criticised for holding a meeting with representatives of the tobacco industry, according to a story in The Journal.ie.
The meeting, which was said also to have involved two senior ministers, Alan Shatter and Michael Noonan, was held a fortnight ago but has only recently come to public attention.
The criticism, which seems to have been led by Senator John Crown and MEP Nessa Childers, is aimed at the meeting itself and the fact that it was not made public.
The lack of immediate transparency would seem to have gone against the spirit of the much-invoked Article 5.3 of the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
On the other hand, it seems unsurprising that such a meeting took place given that Ireland currently has the presidency of the EU and given that discussions are taking place in response to the EU Commission’s proposed revisions to the Tobacco Products Directive.
The spokesman for Forest Éireann has said he is undertaking a tour of Ireland in response to “increasingly restrictive measures on smoking and tobacco, including campaigns to ‘de-normalise’ the habit”.
On the Limerick leg of his tour, John Mallon urged smokers to stand up to “Prohibition extremism in a free society”.
According to a story by Lynda Foley for the Limerick Post, Mallon is concerned that, following the public smoking ban, the prohibition of 10 packs and the display ban, campaigners now wanted to ban smoking in private vehicles carrying children. “What next?” he asked. “All cars? Private homes where children are present? Outdoor parks and beaches?
“And what about other products that carry a potential health risk such as alcohol and fizzy drinks? Will they be targeted too?”
Mallon said he was concerned also with the “unintended consequences of anti-tobacco legislation including the closure of pubs, an increase in the black market sale of tobacco and the increasing prevalence of smoking in Ireland”.
Thailand’s deputy public health minister, Dr. Chonlanan Srikeaw, has announced that a new anti-smoking law will require cigarette packs to carry bigger health warnings, according to a story in the Pattaya Mail.
A new law, which will be implemented on October 2, will stipulate that cigarette warning labels must cover 85 per cent of packs.
Last year, smokers accounted for about 21 per cent of Thailand’s population of people 15 years of age and older: about 11 million.
Imperial Tobacco recently joined with the other major tobacco manufacturers at two global customs events to showcase technology for tackling the illicit trade.
Representatives from Imperial attended the World Customs Organization events in Dubai and Istanbul as members of the cross-industry Digital Coding and Tracking Association (DCTA), which was officially launched this week.
Imperial said the events were the ideal way of highlighting the benefits to customs officials of the DCTA’s Codentify system, which enables tracking and tracing of product in line with the anti-illicit trade protocol of the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, as well as product authentication and digital tax verification.
Imperial’s senior AIT engagement manager, Mark Hill, gave the keynote speech on behalf of the DCTA at the Dubai event.
He said afterwards that there had been significant interest in the Codentify technology from customs officials at both events and that it was hoped to further demonstrate the system’s effectiveness in the future.
RFID Journal said yesterday that it will feature a ‘co-located’ event at its 10th European show, RFID Journal LIVE! Europe (www.rfidjournalevents.com/europe).
The co-located event, RFID in Europe (www.rfidineurope.eu), is designed to promote the adoption of radio frequency identification (RFID) technologies, and to connect European end users and system providers.
Both events will be held on October 15 at Dexter House in London, England.