Some one or the other is always there to create a hurdle for the government when it takes good decision. In this case, there are tobacco companies who want to sue the Australian Government for taking an initiative for controlling the wide spread of tobacco. These companies have used the bilateral agreements as their weapon to stop the government.
According to the Australian Government notification, the government is planning to ask the cigarette manufacturers not to put logos, brand identification signals, colors and promotional messages on packs. From January 2012, the cigarette packs would be of olive green colors with a graphic representation on front and back of the pack that would depict the health consequences of smoking.
Many companies have raised issues that the unattractive packaging would damage their branding. Hong Kong-based Philip Morris Asia, which also owns the Australian affiliate Philip Morris Limited, told that branding of the product is the key factor to compete in the market and the plain packaging of their brands would not get those profits.
Therefore, they have filed the claim that Canberra proposal has breached a bilateral investment treaty with Hong Kong. The treaty states that the Australian Government would be responsible to safe guard the interest of Asian companies from any discrimination. There are many companies like Phillip Morris to revolt but the Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, said that the government would fight till end to reduce smoking in the country.
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