China’s State Tobacco Monopoly Administration plans to launch a trial scheme this year to guide the tobacco industry toward marketization, helping reform the current monopoly system and paving the way for establishment of a market exit mechanism, National Business Daily reported Tuesday. Citing an internal official document, the report said an area comprising Beijing and Tianjin municipalities and the Hebei province is likely to be first location for the trial that will encourage brand competition. China’s tobacco industry has seen its total pre-tax profit rise to 864.9 billion yuan (US$140.72 billion) in 2012 from 7.5 billion yuan in 1981. The target for 2014 has been set at over 1 trillion yuan by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the report said.
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