JIS News

KINGSTON — The Government will continue its efforts to enhance competition in the Jamaican economy, with an allocation of $8.5 million to the Capacity Building in the Enforcement of Competition Law in Jamaica project.

This is contained in the 2011/12 Estimates of Expenditure, now before the House of Representatives.

Implemented by the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce in April 2010, the project seeks to improve the technical skills of the Fair Trading Commission (FTC) staff to carry out investigations and enhance the ability of commissioners to assess/adjudicate on competition matters.

It also seeks to increase compliance of Jamaican businesses as a consequence of the building of a competition culture, and to build a more competitive economic environment for the benefit of businesses and other interests.

Anticipated targets for this fiscal year include: publication of newsletter to inform the public and assist in building a fair competition culture; convening of the 2010 Shirley Playfair Lecture; exposure of FTC’ staff to various approaches by competition authorities in the United Kingdom (UK), European Union (EU), International Competition Network (ICN), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the United States of America, through participation in international seminars.

Also to be undertaken is renewal of the FTC library and Lotus notes platform, which supports the Commission’s Case Management Information System (CMIS), and upgrading of the FTC’s website and replacement of obsolete computers.

The project, which started in April 2010, is expected to end in March 2012. It is being funded by the Government of Jamaica and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

                                                           

By CHRIS PATTERSON, JIS Reporter