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JIS News

The Fair Trading Commission (FTC) will observe its tenth anniversary from September 6 to 13 under the theme “Competition For Economic Growth and Development”.
Executive Director of the FTA, Barbara Lee, said the theme was selected to reflect the Commission’s view that “in a liberalised, free market economy, it is very important that competition be allowed to control the market and dictate prices to benefit all the players, whether they are providers or consumers of goods and services”.
Speaking with JIS News, Mrs. Lee pointed out that competition was important and that anti-competitive activities would have a negative chain reaction on the market, consumers and the economy in general.
“The World Trade Organisation (WTO) is the framework within which the world is operating.(they) dictate the trading arrangements between countries.(therefore) one needs to know what the rules are in order to play the game”, Mrs. Lee pointed out.
As such, the FTC Head said that the activities that were planned for the week were geared toward educating the public on the importance of competition, and specifically fair competition, as well as helping persons to be acquainted with the role of the Commission.
On Saturday, September 6, the Commission will stage a consumer outreach activity at the Mandeville Shopping Centre. The aim of this activity is to interface with consumers in the shopping centre and to discuss issues and concerns on fair competition.
In addition, the Commission will stage an essay competition for high school students, who will address the matter of competition in a 1,500-word essay. The competition will encourage research in order to increase awareness. Topics include ‘Competition Law and Policy – A Useful Tool for National Development’ and The Role of Competition in Jamaica’s Economic Development – How the FTC Facilitates this Process’. Students may choose to write on either topic and a total of $30,000 in prize money will go to the winners.
The FTC anniversary week will be officially launched with a church service at the Boulevard Baptist Church on Washington Boulevard on Sunday, September 7.
To further educate the public about competition matters, the Commission will be hosting a media breakfast on Monday, September 8, at the Knutsford Court Hotel to engage members of the media on the topic and to seek their cooperation in informing the public.
Later in the evening at 6:00 p.m., the FTC will participate in a chat room at go-jamaica.com and persons, locally and abroad, may communicate with FTC officials on trade matters.
Additionally, the FTC will be hosting this year’s Shirley Playfair Lecture at the Knutsford Court Hotel on Thursday, September 11. Guest presenter at the public lecture will be Dr. James Mathis, Lecturer at the Amsterdam Law School in Holland and consultant to the United Nations Commission on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the WTO. He will address the topic “Competition and Regulatory Policies in the WTO: Implications of a Multilateral Competition Policy Framework”.
The week culminates on Saturday, September 13, with a dinner and dance at the Terra Nova Hotel. Commerce, Science and Technology Minister, Phillip Paulwell will deliver the main address at that event.