Project to Enhance Business Competition to begin April


The Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, is set to begin a project aimed at enhancing competition in the Jamaican economy in April.
The 2010/11 Estimates of Expenditure, now before the House of Representatives has revealed that $8.5 million has been earmarked for the Capacity Building in the Enforcement of Competition Law in Jamaica project.
It is expected to improve the technical skills of the Fair Trading Commission (FTC) staff to carry out investigations, as well as enhance the ability of commissioners to assess or adjudicate matters dealing with competition.
It will also increase the compliance of Jamaican businesses as a consequence of the building of a competitive culture; and create a more competitive economic environment, which will benefit both businesses and consumers.
The project is funded by the Government of Jamaica and the Inter-American Development Bank, and is intended to end in March 2012.
There are two components to the project, with component one focusing on enhancing technical capacity (training programme), while component two deals with outreach.
Among other things, it is anticipated that this year, under phase one, workshops and on-the-job coaching will be conducted by international consultants; FTC staff will be exposed to various approaches by competition authorities across the globe, with one staff member to participate in a fellowship in the United States; while the FTC’s website will be upgraded.
Under the second component, workshops will be organised to sensitise members of the judiciary to key issues they are likely to deal with in competition-related cases; a newsletter will be published to sensitise the public and assist in building a fair competition culture, and the 2010 Shirley Playfair lecture will be held.

JIS Social