Removal of barriers key to expansion, says Dutch group TPG

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Series Details Vol.7, No.36, 4.10.01, p14
Publication Date 04/10/2001
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Date: 04/10/01

AS EU policy-makers consider postal liberalisation once more, a senior executive at Dutch post group TPG reckons they should listen to his firm's experience.

The company, which includes traditional post and parcels and logistics arms through its TNT brand, is the very model of a modern mail operator.

Its PTT Post unit has a reserved area of 100 grams - and public affairs chief Nanno Aukes said that it is ready to see this disappear altogether.

Removing barriers would allow competitive firms to enter protected foreign markets, such as Germany, the UK and France, and the emergence of airline-style alliances between local operators.

The alternative, he claims, would merely reduce innovation - leaving the customer as the loser.

Aukes says further studies into the impact postal liberalisation would have on universal service would serve no purpose and would just add another layer of delays - shrouding firms' investment plans in uncertainty.

The costs of universal service obligations have been overblown, says Aukes, adding special funds could be set up by governments to cover the costs in exceptional circumstances.

Instead, he says all EU post markets can and should be fully liberalised "at short notice" - although he admits that this is politically impossible given the divergent opinions of member states, MEPs and the European Commission. "We are 14 years in discussion. If you look at the market there is no serious liberalisation whatsoever. If you want to be cynical you have lots of reasons to be so."

Article forms part of a special report on postal liberalisation.

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