Month: November 2022

The Farming Reform Europe May (not) Need

Agriculture is an issue which is viewed very differently depending on which European country you look at it from. Whether it is the subsidies or the methods, it seems like there is no real understanding among all the EU member states. In this edition of the CEA Talks podcast, host Zoltán Kész is joined by Bill Wirtz, senior policy analyst at the Consumer Choice Center. 

Mr Wirtz starts by saying that in agriculture, currently there have been very interesting developments, for example the ‘farm to fork’ policy. As for beginners, often the European Union establishes framework, which is essentially telling us where we want to go and then it creates legislation to make it happen: “The ‘farm to fork’ strategy is essentially what I would call the most significant overhaul of agriculture in the history of the European Union. Listeners will know that depending on the budget between 30 and 40% of the EU budget It’s already given out and subsidies to farmers and now the EU gets into the policy of how is the food produced and what exactly is the output that we have there so the farm to fork strategy publishes very ambitious targets to reach, it also tries to be part of the European Green Deal and reach sustainability goals.” The CCC experts argues that the strategy wants to cut synthetic pesticide use half by 2030, cut the fertilizer use half, as well as increase organic agriculture production to 25%. Presently, organic agriculture represents about 4% in the US, while this number is 8% in Europe. However, it’s quite divided between countries so if you’re in Bulgaria and if you go to the supermarket, the likelihood of you finding organic food products is quite low because it represents about 0.3% of the overall market, but in Germany or in Austria (where the organic agriculture is about 25%), you have entire an supermarket chain dedicated to organic food, and essentially, this is where we bump into some issues. 

Mr Wirtz starts by saying that in agriculture, currently there have been very interesting developments, for example the ‘farm to fork’ policy. As for beginners, often the European Union establishes framework, which is essentially telling us where we want to go and then it creates legislation to make it happen: “The ‘farm to fork’ strategy is essentially what I would call the most significant overhaul of agriculture in the history of the European Union. Listeners will know that depending on the budget between 30 and 40% of the EU budget It’s already given out and subsidies to farmers and now the EU gets into the policy of how is the food produced and what exactly is the output that we have there so the farm to fork strategy publishes very ambitious targets to reach, it also tries to be part of the European Green Deal and reach sustainability goals.” The CCC experts argues that the strategy wants to cut synthetic pesticide use in half by 2030, cut the fertilizer use half, as well as increase organic agriculture production to 25%. Presently, organic agriculture represents about 4% in the US, while this number is 8% in Europe. However, it’s quite divided between countries so if you’re in Bulgaria and if you go to the supermarket, the likelihood of you finding organic food products is quite low because it represents about 0.3% of the overall market, but in Germany or in Austria (where the organic agriculture is about 25%), you have entire an supermarket chain dedicated to organic food, and essentially, this is where we bump into some issues. 

Related to Central and Eastern Europe, Mr Wirtz mentions that the region is described as one “lagging behind”, in terms of organic farming and consumption. Not enough organic production, as well as the high use of synthetic pesticides are mentioned here. He also says that the region has been at the forefront of questioning the real effects of farm to fork and whether we should implement this because it’s more of a political goal than a scientific goal. The Czech Republic, Slovakia and Slovenia raised concerns on whether this is something we should do because the strategy was drafted before COVID or the War in Ukraine: “While the world turned to its toes the EU has not yet adapted its predictions of what is going to happen with the project. As these events show, our food system is quite dependent on, as Ukraine being the EU’s main trade partner for non-GMO soybeans, 41% of rapeseed, and 26% of honey. In fertilizers, we usually get nitrogen-based fertilizers from Russia, which provides about 25% of the world’s exports but currently under sanctions. So, as we look at the situation, we realize that huge chunks of our agricultural dependency is currently unavailable. So, if our imports are compromised but at the same time the farm to fork strategy wants us to reduce farmland by 10% these ideas just do not add up at the moment. In my opinion, especially countries in Central and Eastern Europe are and will be experiencing this loss of trade.”

As an analyst at the Consumer Choice Center, Mr Wirtz also emphasized the important work his organization is doing in the European Union in order to change the policy. He says that “In general, as any organization should require from legislation is sort of an impact assessment, basically asking them to tell us what happens if you do this, and at least create awareness for the public, and a common line of understanding. However, the EU’s impact assessments have been very charitable towards their own strategies. Fortunately, we have more unbiased data on this. The USDA did an impact assessment as to what happens if the EU implements this: production down at 12%, food prices up by 17%, exports down by 20%, and it would cost us about $71 billion. So, while this is obviously very concerning, we’ve been asking policymakers to request an impact assessment which not only considers all implications of this strategy but also takes into account the effects of COVID and the war in Ukraine. Before it had a chance, but now with many trading partners unavailable, it is just impossible. The problem is that some political people have staked their reputation on these projects (an unfortunate reality of Brussels politics in general when in the departments or some policy makers act based on their own political reputation, they need legislation to pass, because without it, they have nothing to show.“

When asked about future agricultural innovations, Mr Wirtz responded that they found a lot of the solutions that do address these problems including reducing synthetic pesticide. The use of genetic engineering is a prevalent option. He states that “Emmanuel Charpentier, French scientist who has done research at the Max Planck Institute in Germany. With the scientist from the University of California they developed breakthrough gene editing technology. Essentially it works by removing undesirable DNA from a crop so that it responses to weather changes better by making it more resilient as an example. What people generally known as GMO (genetically modified organisms) uses ‘transgenesis’, which combines DNA from multiple organisms to improve them in a desired way. Now gene editing is the is newest of the new what we have there and what we can do in solving food production problems. The technology is quite amazing, you can make nuts that don’t cause allergies for people who have nut allergies, you can make gluten-free wheat, you can make all the crops more resistant so that they need less water and so on. As a result of that and what you end up with is you produce more food with less resources and I think that’s the amazing story of humanity in a way, because if you think about it, even though we have virtually used up all the available land for agriculture, this technology not only allows us to feed a growing population, but do so with less resources and on lass overall land. I think that’s truly amazing that we have the technology to produce food that is affordable, safe, and reliable, and I think that’s the route we should go down unfortunately right now that’s still restricted by legislation, but I see some positive input coming from EU of people who want to change that.”


Les cryptomonnaies, NFT et autres tokens divers et variés attirent toute l’attention des législateurs européens. 

Le règlement de l’Union européenne sur les marchés de crypto-actifs (MiCA), en chantier depuis début 2018, est enfin finalisé. Cette législation vise à « harmoniser le cadre européen pour l’émission et la négociation de divers types de tokens cryptographiques dans le cadre de la stratégie de l’Europe en matière de finance numérique ».

Depuis sa première annonce, il a suscité de nombreuses discussions et quelques controverses. Il a longtemps été redouté – mais aussi salué – par l’industrie des cryptomonnaies.

Examinons pourquoi ce texte de loi pourrait être l’un des plus importants que nous ayons vus pour le marché des cryptos jusqu’à présent.

Le MiCA sera applicable dans tous les États membres de l’UE, ainsi qu’avec toutes les entreprises opérant dans l’UE. Il a d’abord été discuté suite au marché haussier de 2017, une période enivrante où le Bitcoin atteignait de nouveaux sommets. A l’époque, plus d’un millier de tokens ont commencé à fleurir au milieu d’Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs, l’équivalent des introductions en Bourse pour les actions), et plus de la moitié avaient disparu moins de quatre mois après leur création.

Un marché plus rapide que la loi

La Commission européenne a publié son plan d’action fintech en mars 2018 et a demandé à l’Autorité bancaire européenne (ABE) et à l’Autorité européenne des marchés financiers (AEMF) d’examiner si le cadre réglementaire européen existant en matière de services financiers s’appliquait aux crypto-actifs. Après avoir décidé que la plupart des crypto-actifs n’entraient pas dans le champ d’application de la réglementation financière actuelle, les régulateurs ont commencé à travailler sur un nouveau cadre législatif dans le cadre du « Digital Finance Package », qui est finalement devenu le MiCA.

Depuis le début de ces discussions, le marché des cryptomonnaies a connu un marché baissier, atteignant son point le plus bas dans les premiers jours suivant les annonces de la pandémie. Un autre marché haussier a suivi, avant que la tendance à la baisse reprenne le dessus, fin 2021.

De nouvelles craintes réglementaires sont apparues au cours des deux premiers trimestres de 2022. Puis des événements tels que l’effondrement du stablecoin Terra et les faillites de Three Arrows Capital et Celsisus ont suivi.

Dans un environnement aussi changeant, il n’est pas difficile de comprendre que le champ d’application du MiCA a dû évoluer par rapport à sa conception initiale. Les NFT n’existaient pratiquement pas à l’époque de la conception de la législation ; le « DeFi Summer » n’était pas d’actualité ; Meta s’appelait encore Facebook, et travaillait à ce moment-là sur son « Libra », un projet fort méprisé (vous en souvenez-vous ?).

Il n’a pas été facile de créer un cadre juridique offrant une sécurité juridique à la fois aux investisseurs et aux émetteurs de cryptomonnaies dans ce type d’environnement, et les régulateurs sont retournés à la table à dessin à plusieurs reprises. Ce que nous avons devant nous aujourd’hui sera le texte de loi le plus important pour les cryptomonnaies jusqu’à maintenant.

De nouvelles règles pour tout le monde

L’une des principales règles qui affectera le secteur est l’obligation à laquelle devront se soumettre les Crypto Asset Service Providers (CASP), c’est-à-dire les entreprises d’investissement et toute personne fournissant des services de garde (« staking »). Ils seront responsables de toute perte de fonds de clients, sauf s’ils sont en mesure de prouver qu’elle résulte d’événements indépendants de leur volonté. Un certain nombre de mesures visent à prévenir les délits d’initiés et les manipulations de marché.

Au cours du processus d’élaboration du MiCA, plusieurs discussions animées ont eu lieu sur la preuve de travail (« proof of work »), ce que l’on appelle le « minage », et les effets potentiels de cette pratique sur l’environnement. Malgré la pression importante exercée par certains groupes, les législateurs ont, à juste titre, évité toute interdiction potentielle de la preuve de travail, qui est l’une des méthodes utilisées pour vérifier les transactions sur la blockchain (par exemple celle de Bitcoin). Toutefois, les acteurs du marché des cryptomonnaies seront tenus de déclarer des informations sur leur empreinte climatique.

Quant aux protocoles financiers décentralisés, ils n’entrent pas dans le champ d’application du MiCA et la Commission européenne publiera un rapport distinct à leur sujet en 2023.

Les cryptomonnaies stables, ou stablecoins, ont fait l’objet d’une grande préoccupation et de nombreux débats lors du processus de rédaction du MiCA. Suite aux préoccupations exprimées par le Conseil européen, des restrictions supplémentaires sur l’émission et l’utilisation de ces monnaies ont été ajoutées à la législation. Les stablecoinspourraient selon eux constituer une menace pour la souveraineté monétaire et « les banques centrales devraient pouvoir demander à l’autorité compétente de retirer l’autorisation d’émettre des tokens référencés par des actifs en cas de menaces sérieuses ».

Comme indiqué dans le texte, les tokens référencés par des actifs (ART) doivent pouvoir être rachetés à tout moment au prix d’achat, ce qui rend plus ou moins impossible le lancement de tout stablecoin non libellé en devises. Cela rend presque impossible l’innovation dans ce domaine et prive les consommateurs européens de la possibilité de participer à de tels investissements potentiels. Avec les plafonds d’émission et les limites sur les paiements à grande échelle pour les stablecoins non libellés en euros, cela crée un environnement confus et peu convivial pour les consommateurs lorsqu’il s’agit de ces tokens.

Et pour les NFT ?

Même avec toutes les mises à jour et la volonté de suivre les évolutions du secteur du crypto, le MiCA ne couvre pas certains éléments très importants de la crypto-économie actuelle.

Les NFT sont pour la plupart hors du champ d’application de cette législation. Cependant, les membres du Parlement européen ont fait valoir que de nombreux NFT sont en fait utilisés comme des instruments financiers et pourraient être soumis à des normes différentes.

En revanche, les NFT fractionnés, ainsi que les « tokens non fongibles dans une grande série ou une collection doivent être considérés comme un indicateur de leur fongibilité » et seront traités non pas comme des crypto-actifs uniques, similaires à l’art numérique ou aux objets de collection.

Les actifs ou les droits représentés par les NFT doivent également être uniques et non fongibles pour qu’un actif soit considéré comme tel. Le fait que les autorités nationales chargées de l’application de la loi puissent adopter des points de vue divergents sur la question de savoir si un actif peut être considéré comme non fongible ou non, s’il nécessite un livre blanc (whitepaper) ou comment il sera réglementé, est quelque chose qui devrait être préoccupant. Cela pourrait en effet potentiellement créer de nombreuses incohérences et préoccupations tant pour les émetteurs que pour les consommateurs. L’UE devrait publier un autre rapport sur les NFT afin d’apporter plus de clarté dans ce domaine.

Une fois que les traducteurs en auront terminé avec la version finale du texte, on s’attend à ce que le MiCA soit publié officiellement aux alentours d’avril 2023, ce qui signifierait que les règles relatives aux cryptomonnaies stables commenceront à être appliquées en avril 2024 et que les règles du CASP seront appliquées à partir d’octobre 2024.

L’Union européenne étant la troisième économie mondiale, les effets de cette législation auront un large impact sur le secteur, sur les consommateurs et les investisseurs, et auront certainement une certaine influence sur les autres régulateurs dans le monde.

Le fait que l’UE soit à l’avant-garde de la réglementation de l’innovation technologique est quelque chose que nous n’avons pas souvent vu dans le passé.

Avec l’adoption du MiCA, il appartiendra aux acteurs du secteur et aux consommateurs de s’assurer que les mesures introduisent la certitude et permettent à l’innovation de se développer. Et, si ces priorités sont maintenues, que ces mesures soient copiées et appliquées ailleurs. Quoi qu’il en soit, un long et passionnant voyage nous attend dans le domaine.

Originally published here

Ford takes aim at housing gatekeepers

Ontario seeks to reform zoning rules that slow construction and increase costs

Last week Doug Ford’s Ontario government introduced legislation that will seek to rapidly increase homebuilding in the province, primarily by peeling back exclusionary zoning. Premier Ford’s bill will allow for up to three units to be built on a single residential lot without any bylaw amendments or municipal permissions. This allows for the building of basement apartments, garden suites, duplexes, and triplexes on a single residential lot. In addition to allowing these units to be built, the legislation also exempts these units from development charges and parkland dedication fees, which significantly increase the cost of building and are ultimately passed on to buyers.  In a city like Toronto, this could be a game-changer for calming the housing crisis.

Upwards of 70 per cent of Toronto is zoned exclusively for single-family homes, a restriction that significantly limits building options, which in turn constrains the housing supply. The impact of these zoning rules can’t be overstated. A family in Toronto needs an annual income of $280,000 to purchase a detached home, $214,000 for an attached home, $167,000 for a townhome and $148,000 for a condo. But the median income for a couple in Toronto is only $97,700.

Why zoning reform is needed is simple: artificial limits on what can be built keep the housing stock low, which in turn prevents supply from keeping pace with demand, thus putting upwards pressure on home prices and rents. Because of these zoning rules, Ontario has a terrible record for building new homes. Among G7 countries, Canada ranks dead last in population-adjusted housing units per 1,000 people with 424. Ontario, which has only 398 units per 1,000 people, is a major cause of the problem.

Increasing the housing stock would put downward pressure on prices and foster economic growth. Research on zoning rules in the U.S. has shown that, by freezing workers out of high-rent areas like New York and San Jose where their productivity would be higher, local zoning rules lowered U.S. economic growth by fully 36 per cent between 1964 and 2009. There is no reason to assume similarly exclusionary zoning laws aren’t having the same negative impact in Ontario and across Canada.

The benefits of zoning reform aren’t just theoretical. Reform has made housing more affordable in both the United States and Japan. Minneapolis, which abolished exclusionary zoning before the pandemic, now appears to be bucking the trend of rising U.S. rental prices. Rents for one- and two-bedroom units are actually lower in 2022 than they were in 2019. Some of that presumably can be chalked up to having made it easier to build for increased density.

Before the pandemic Japan was building nearly a million new homes per year because of its relaxed approach to zoning. This approach is largely why average home prices in Japan have stayed relatively flat for nearly a decade. Enabling supply to keep up with demand is the keystone of Japan’s success in creating a stable housing market, one where home ownership is feasible and rental prices are stable. On the rental side, from 2008-2018 rent for the average two-bedroom apartment in Tokyo hovered around $1,000 (U.S.) per month. A two-bedroom apartment in Toronto is now more than double the price of an equivalent unit in Tokyo.

Now, for some, the thought of smaller Tokyo-style apartments doesn’t seem appealing. But the point here is that with limited government involvement in the building of new homes the market is able to adjust and build in a way that better meets housing demand. And to really demonstrate the power of supply: Japan’s rental prices were stable without the use of rent control, a policy often touted as a means to curb rising rents.

For those who like the suburbs and want them to stay that way, this bill could work to increase density in high-demand areas like Toronto, while easing housing pressure in surrounding areas. Opening up 70 per cent of Toronto to increased density will help curb the trend to suburban sprawl, as people who prefer to live in these high-demand areas will find it easier to do so.

This new bill takes the issue of chronic housing undersupply seriously by saying “Yes, In My Backyard.” Welcome to Team YIMBY, Premier Ford.

Originally published here

Widespread misinformation about vaping hurts public health

Quitting cigarettes is one of the hardest things to do, as many former and current smokers know from painful personal experience. Public health and politicians must do better to help smokers quit. 700,000 deaths per year in the EU should be enough of an incentive to make us rethink our current approach.

To effectively help smokers quit for good, three conditions must be met:

Firstly, smokers must be able to choose from as many options as possible to find out what smoking cessation method works best for them. People are different, and therefore different ways to give up smoking must be made available and affordable. For very few people (less than 4%), quitting with no help works. For a few, nicotine replacement therapy (such as nicotine gums or patches) works, and it turns out that for many people, new nicotine alternatives help them with quitting smoking once and for all. Those products range from vaping and heat-not-burn products to snus or nicotine pouches. What all these new forms have in common is that they separate nicotine consumption from the combustion of tobacco (which produces the vast majority of the toxicity of smoking), making them far less harmful than smoking cigarettes. Each one is different, each working best for each different person.

62% of smokers in France and 53% in Germany believe anti-smoking policies ignore how difficult it is to stop smoking. Clearly, smokers are not satisfied with traditional cessation methods and therefore look to vaping as a means of quitting

Secondly, we need a modern, open regulatory framework to fit these new alternatives. These new products are not the same as smoking. Hence, they must not be painted with the same regulatory brush. What we need instead is risk-based regulation. Vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking and, therefore, must not be treated the same way. Harm reduction must become a centrepiece of anti-smoking policies, like in the field of pharmaceutical drugs. Harm reduction follows practical strategies and solutions to reduce harmful consequences associated with using certain substances instead of an unrealistic `just quit´ approach. Encouraging smokers who are not able to or don’t want to quit smoking to switch to vaping is a best-case example of harm reduction.

Thirdly, smokers must have accurate information about the potential risks of different products to make decisions. The same applies to medical professionals who are working with those smokers. They need to know the facts to make a lasting difference for smokers.

Read the full text here

Pentingnya Kampanye Hak Kekayaan Intelektual di Lembaga Pendidikan

Perlindungan hak kekayaan intelektual merupakan salah satu aspek yang sangat penting untuk meningkatkan inovasi. Melalui perlindungan hak kekayaan intelektual, maka para inovator dan juga pekerja kreatif akan mendapatkan perlindungan atas ide dan juga karya yang dibuatnya, dan bisa mendapatkan manfaat ekonomi dari inovasi yang telah mereka ciptakan.

Tanpa adanya perlindungan hak kekayaan intelektual, maka hal tersebut tentu akan sangat merugikan para inovator dan pekerja kreatif. Dengan mudah, pihak-pihak yang tidak bertanggung jawab akan mencuri dan membajak ide-ide dan karya yang mereka buat. Dengan demikian, mereka tidak akan mampu untuk mendapatkan manfaat ekonomi dan finansial dari ide-ide dan karya yang sudah mereka buat.

Bila hal ini terjadi, akan sangat mungkin insentif seseorang untuk berkarya dan berinovasi akan semakin berkurang. Industri kreatif dan para inovator tidak mustahil akan memilih untuk pindah ke negara lain yang memiliki perlindungan kekayaan intelektual yang lebih baik. Dengan demikian, tentunya kita akan kehilangan banyak orang-orang dengan talenta yang besar.

Tidak hanya itu, bila inovasi menjadi berkurang dan industri kreatif tidak dapat berkembang, maka hal tersebut juga akan membawa dampak yang negatif terhadap kehidupan masyarakat. Diantaranya, akan semakin berkurang lapangan kerja yang tersedia bagi masyarakat yang tinggal di negara kita.

Oleh karena itu, penegakan hukum yang tegas terhadap mereka yang membajak karya orang lain, dan mencuri kekayaan intelektual dari para pekerja kreatif, adalah hal yang sangat penting terkait dengan perlindungan hak kekayaan intelektual. Tanpa adanya penegakan hukum yang tegas, tentu akan sangat mustahil perlindungan hak kekayaan intelektual di negara kita dapat ditegakkan.

Namun, aspek penegakan hukum yang dilakukan oleh aparat yang berwenang terhadap mereka yang mencuri hasil karya orang lain tentu tidak lah cukup sebagai satu-satunya langkah yang dilakukan untuk membangun ekosistem perlindungan kekayaan intelektual yang baik dan komprehensif. Dibutuhkan juga berbagai peran aktif dari masyarakat untuk mendaftarkan karya yang mereka buat, dan juga peningkatan kesadaran kepada masyarakat mengenai pentingnya perlindungan hak kekayaan inetelektual.

Untuk itu, sosialisasi kepada masyarakat mengenai pentingnya perlindungan hak kekayaan intelektual, termasuk juga aspek teknis mengenai bagaimana cara seseorang untuk mendaftarkan karya dan inovasi yang mereka buat, adalah sesuatu yang sangat penting. Melalui sosialisasi yang tepat, diharapkan masyarakat akan semakin memahami mengapa perlindungan hak kekayaan intelektual adalah sesuatu yang sangat penting.

Ada berbagai cara dan langkah yang bisa dilakukan terkait dengan sosialisasi mengenai pentingnya perlindungan hak kekayaan intelektual. Misalnya, melalui kampanye melalui iklan layanan masyarakat melalui media massa maupun media sosial. Selain itu, pemerintah juga sudah melakukan program sosialisasi tersebut melalui pembentukan klinik kekayaan intelektual untuk memudahkan masyarakat untuk mendapatkan informasi dan juga mendaftarkan karya yang mereka buat (kominfo.jatimprov.go.id, 23/9/2022).

Langkah lain yang tidak kalah pentingnya dalam rangka mensosialisasikan pentingnya perlindungan hak kekayaan intelektual adalah sosialisasi melalui berbagai lembaga pendidikan seperti sekolah. Penanaman nilai-nilai mengenai pentingnya untuk melindungi hak kekayaan intelektual sejak muda tentu merupakan hal yang penting bila kita ingin membangun ekosistem perlindungan kekayaan intelektual yang lebih baik di masa depan.

Sehubungan dengan hal tersebut, pemerintah sendiri sudah menjalankan beberapa program sosialisasi mengenai pentingnya perlindungan hak kekayaan intelektual ke lembaga pendidikan seperti sekolah. Beberapa waktu lalu misalnya, Pemerintah Indonesia akan melakukan sosialisasi mengenai pentingnya perlindungan hak kekayaan intelektual melalui para guru dan tenaga pengajar di berbagai sekolah di Indonesia.

Salah satu program tersebut diantaranya adalah meliputi pengukuhan 346 guru Kekayaan Intelektual (RuKI) tahun ini. Para guru tersebut kelak nantinya akan diterjunkan ke sekitar 170 sekolah di seluruh Indonesia untuk memberikan pemahaman mengenai pentingnya melindungi hak kekayaan intelektual (edukasi.okezone.com, 3/8/2022).

Berdasarkan keterangan dari DIrektorat Jenderal Kekayaan Intelektual (DJKI), pengukuhan guru Kekayaan Intelektual tersebut merupakan bagian dari kegiatan DJKI Mengajar tahun 2022. Tujuan dari adanya kegiatan tersebut adalah untuk meningkatkan pemahaman dan membangun generasi yang sadar dan menghargai pentingnya perlindungan terhadap hak kekayaan intelektual (betiklampung.com, 28/9/2022).

Adanya program yang ditujukan untuk menanamkan nilai-nilai pentingnya menjaga hak kekayaan intelektual kepada generasi muda melalui lembaga pendidikan tentu merupakan hal yang patut kita apresiasi. Penanaman mengenai pentingnya perlindungan hak kekayaan intelektual sejak dini merupakan hal yang sangat penting untuk membangun generasi yang sadar menegnai pentingnya hak kekayaan intelektual.

Diharapkan, melalui program tersebut, kita bisa melahirkan generasi yang lebih kreatif dan mampu mengembangkan berbagai inovasi. Melalui hal tersebut, tentunya Indonesia akan menjadi negara yang lebih maju, modern, dan lebih sejahtera di masa yang akan datang.

Originally published here

9 Recommendations to the Malaysian Government on Consumer Policy

Following the recent dissolution of the Malaysian Parliament, an official administration will be formed following the 15th General Election to be held on 19 November 2022. The Consumer Choice Center argues that any new government elected should focus on pro-consumer policies, especially in allowing choices.  

The Consumer Choice Center lists 9 recommendations to the new government to be researched and implemented according to the best method.

Consumer data protection – Over 25 million sets of personal data have been stolen so far this year alone, 2022. To prevent this from happening again, the Personal Data Protection Department and the commission must be placed under the responsibility of Parliament instead of the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia.

A mechanism needs to be established to manage compensation or damages to all victims of personal data theft crimes. Victims need to be notified that their personal data has been leaked. In addition, we also recommend personal liability of company directors who fail to address data protection risks. 

Make cars more affordable! – Excise duty in Malaysia starts from 60 to 105 percent calculated based on the type of vehicle and engine capacity. Manakala import duty can reach up to 30 percent depending on the country of origin of the vehicle. CCC encourages the lowering of taxes to allow cars to be imported and exported easily – less cost and can be enjoyed by a wider market. This taxation puts consumers at a disadvantage while having to pay more for a better-quality car.

Reduce barriers to research in medical marijuana – More clinical studies on the use of medical cannabis should be done. Until today, there remains a lack of research on its effects for Malaysian patients. Globally, over 40 countries have legalized medical use of cannabis, including Thailand and Sri Lanka. One study in Denmark finds that medical cannabis is frequently used as a substitute for prescription drugs, particularly pain relievers, antidepressants and arthritis medication. 

Recently, local researchers from public universities have failed to study cannabis due to legal restrictions imposed by the government on “civil servants” and not “public officers” by the Dangerous Drugs Act (DDA) 1952. Besides, Malaysia’s Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 only uses the term “cannabis” and does not make the distinction between hemp and marijuana.

Cryptocurrency and innovation – Regulation needs to be developed without stifling innovation, with a careful balance required between weighing the need to protect consumers with the benefits of a new technology with huge long-term potential. Regulation is a vital part of the cryptocurrency ecosystem, as it lifts global and local standards, sets barriers to entry for operators and provides consumer protection. Regulatory standards in a country are critical because it provides consumers with a good indication that they can trust that company with their funds. Overregulation of the industry may also deter innovation.

Adopt harm reduction approach – Adopt the harm reduction method as a concept in reducing the number of smokers. Harm reduction laws must be based on scientific-backed solutions and every consumer has the right to receive accurate information in making a decision for himself. For instance, Public Health England stated that vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking and the government needs to ensure that the information can be reached by the public.

Aviation – Enforce existing consumer protection laws by making it easier to get refunds of canceled flights. In addition, when the plane is canceled, the consumers should have the option of receiving either a cash refund or a travel voucher to rebook a new flight in the future.

Food chain – Empower genetic engineering efforts in Malaysia to diversify food sources, adapt to climate conditions and reduce import dependency. The production of food commodities from within the country is important to ensure sufficient food supply in the country. Incentives for food production projects should continue with tax exemptions for the producing industry. 

Brands matter – Maintain intellectual property protection and brand protection in order to help consumers to distinguish between fake products that might be harmful for them and original products. Esports – Maintain the plan on policy or incentive of income tax exemption on winning prizes they receive in any competition starting in 2023. In addition, any company that in any form of winning while representing the country through official games such as the Commonwealth Games, Asian Games or SEA Games can apply for tax exemption in the country.

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