FTC Assisting Caricom To Develop Fair Competition Laws


The Fair Trading Commission (FTC) is lending its expertise to other Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries as they work to develop their own competition laws, in time for the implementation of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) in 2005.
Already, Barbados has been assisted to set up its own competition agency in January this year and now joins Jamaica as the only Caribbean territories to have a competition act and a competition agency.
Barbara Lee, Executive Director of the FTC, told JIS News that a CARICOM Competition Act was now being drafted and would be modeled after Jamaica’s Fair Competition Act (FCA). It will seek to address “uncompetitive conduct within the region and regulate cross border issues between countries in CARICOM”, she explains.
The Bill, when enacted, will also facilitate the setting up of a CARICOM Competition Commission. In much the same way that the FTC is responsible for administering the FCA in Jamaica, the Commission will administer the CARICOM Competition Act on behalf of the region, to ensure that a fair and competitive environment is established for the smooth and proper functioning of the CSME, Mrs. Lee explained.
In addition, she said, to meet the challenge of an even more open market structure, the FTC was “getting its technical capacity up to speed, through the New Economy Project”. The project is being financed by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Training under this project began in July this year and is scheduled for completion in October.
The Project will also see to legislative amendments to the Act to provide for greater transparency and to clearly define functions.
The New Economy Project will seek to streamline the Commission’s workflow processes through a computer-based management system. This would ensure greater speed and efficiency in the organisation’s workflow.

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