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JIS News

The 10th annual Shirley Playfair Lecture series will be hosted by the Fair Trading Commission (FTC), on Thursday, September 10.
The event, which will be held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, in Kingston, commencing at 3:00 p.m., will focus on the theme: ‘The Relevance of Competition Law in Good and not so Good Times’.
Executive Director of the FTC, Mr. David Miller, has emphasised that the issue of competition law is particularly relevant now, considering the global economic crisis.
“The debate surrounding industrial policy and competition policy has resurfaced given the worldwide economic downturn and we believe this is an opportune time to facilitate the debate and to explain the pros and cons of protectionism and the unwavering consumer benefits of competition law enforcement and advocacy,” Mr. Miller told JIS News.
President of the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association (JMA), Mr. Omar Azan and Director of Advocacy for Competition Authority of Ireland, Mr. Declan Purcell, are slated to address participants at the Lecture.
The one-day event will focus on sensitising participants and the general public of the importance of maintaining competitive markets, even in challenging times, where resources are limited.
“While opening markets to competition may negatively affect some manufacturers, the welfare of consumers is best served through competitive markets, where there is product choice and prices that are determined by market forces,” Mr. Miller said.
The Lecture will see the participation of a number of professional groups, including the Jamaica Bar Association, the JMA and representatives of various Government Ministries, among others.
The FTC, an agency of the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, hosts the Lecture each year, which focusses on Competition Law and Policy, while honouring the life and work of the late Mrs. Shirley Playfair, the Commission’s former Chairman.
Mr. Miller pointed out that Mrs. Playfair was a passionate advocate for the proper functioning of markets, and as such she worked assiduously in creating the foundation and structure for the enforcement of competition law in Jamaica.
“Through the annual lecture, we try to ensure that the public is kept abreast of the pertinent issues relating to market behaviour and the benefits that ought to accrue to consumers,” he said.

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