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  • Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Sharon Ffolkes-Abrahams, says the creation of an enabling business environment is essential for competition to thrive.
  • Mrs. Ffolkes-Abrahams was speaking at the National Competition Day forum, held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, in Rose Hall, St. James, on September 23.
  • The State Minister expressed the hope that the seminar will provide opportunities for dialogue between the telecommunications sector and consumers.

Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Sharon Ffolkes-Abrahams, says the creation of an enabling business environment is essential for competition to thrive.

“Competition is the hallmark of a robust business environment.  It drives innovation, forces increased efficiency in the use of resources and often results in a reduction of costs to consumers,” the State Minister said.

Mrs. Ffolkes-Abrahams was speaking at the National Competition Day forum, held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, in Rose Hall, St. James, on September 23.

The Fair Trading Commission sponsored forum, entitled: ‘Transforming Jamaica digitally: from Flintstones to Jetsons’, also included representatives from more than 20 countries who converged on the Montego Bay Convention Centre for the 13th Latin American Competition Forum, hosted by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

The State Minister expressed the hope that the seminar will provide opportunities for dialogue between the telecommunications sector and consumers.

“From a more academic perspective, we also hope that the seminar will facilitate practical discussions in order for us to learn from the best practices of countries that have previously undergone this stage of development,” Mrs. Ffolkes- Abrahams said.

For his part, Minister of State in the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Julian Robinson, said that one of the most significant milestones in the development of the country was when government took a decision to proactively negotiate with the then Cable and Wireless to end their monopoly on telecommunication services.

“The most profound impact of that liberalization for consumers was seen in the introduction of new players in the mobile industry – Digicel and Oceanic.  This created a new industry as not only did we have persons having access to a wider variety of choices, but prices came down and the market actually grew,” he noted.

“That has enabled us as a country to become more competitive in a critical industry and as such, allows us to attract more foreign-direct investments in this area,” Mr. Robinson informed.