Thailand's government has stepped up its efforts to prevent large retailers from treating suppliers unfairly by publishing a checklist of eight initial definitions of what it describes as unfair trading practices. They include requests for entrance or listing fees, unilateral contract cancellations, and passing part of the operating costs onto manufacturers. It also refers to the practice of passing advertising and marketing expenses onto suppliers, collecting surcharges if monthly sales meet targets, requesting premium goods and discounts for special events such as anniversaries, delaying payments and passing transport costs from distribution centres onto suppliers. The Thai commerce ministry has pledged to strengthen the Trade Competition Act to prohibit certain trading practices in the retail sector, after a study by a ministerial working group. Deputy commerce minister Newin Chidchob said the study had found that contracts between stores and suppliers had been drafted unfairly. For example, the retailers charged entrance fees for products and passed on advertising and sales promotions costs to suppliers. The ministry will invite executives of the four biggest store groups ­ Big C, Tesco Lotus, Carrefour and Makro to talks next month on ways to eliminate some practices. The deputy minister added: "We want them to explain why they have to carry out such activities. I expect that those operators will explain why, giving scientific figures to justify the moves." {{NEWS }}