JIS News

Having achieved significant territorial successes in competition law enforcement, Caribbean states are now eagerly anticipating the launch of the CARICOM Competition Commission this year.
The historic event is set for November 30 in Suriname, where the Commission, which will enforce competition in regional trading agreements, will be based. Executive Director of Jamaica’s Fair Trading Commission (FTC), Barbara Lee, told JIS News that “the launch of the CARICOM Competition Commission is a big event in the life of the region”.
She informed that as part of the effort, “there will be a sensitization programme, where a team will travel to each member state educating the citizenry, based on provisions of the revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, which gives us the mandate to get trading agreements effective throughout the region”.
Commenting on the role of the FTC in setting the stage for the historic launch of the CARICOM Competition Commission, Mrs. Lee stated that, “since September 1993, when the FTC began its operations, we have improved consumer savvy by effectively enabling (persons) to recognize their role in the market; contributed greatly to positive behaviour modification in many industries; and curtailed the practice of dominant players undermining competition legislation.”
Mrs. Lee added that, “our interventions have led to more transparency in the advertisement of fares and other arrangements in the airline industry, greater compliance in the motor vehicle industry and improved consumer choices”.
In the meantime, she told JIS News that the FTC has selected “Regional Competition Enforcement” as the topic for the Shirley Playfair lecture this year “because this is very topical now and very important to us in this region.”
The guest presenter will be Dr. Michal Gal of Haifa University in Israel, whom, she said, was selected because of “her strident views on how competition is to be enforced in small economies”.
Effective competition enforcement in member states of CARICOM is an essential prerequisite for the CARICOM Competition Commission to become operational.

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