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Thursday 6 August, 2020

FTC can now investigate anti-competitive practices

Photo via Facebook, Ministry of Trade and Industry.

Photo via Facebook, Ministry of Trade and Industry.

Trinidad and Tobago has joined more than 130 jurisdictions globally including Jamaica, Barbados and Guyana with the recent full proclamation of the Fair Trading Act.

Minister of Trade and Industry Paula Gopee-Scoon, in making the announcement on Wednesday, restated the importance of the milestone achievement.

“The Fair Trading Commission is now officially able to receive and investigate complaints and allegations of anti-competitive conduct in Trinidad and Tobago and deliver findings in respect of same,” she said.

The Minister added that the Commission is better able to fulfil its mission to protect, promote and maintain free and fair competition in the conduct of business in Trinidad and Tobago.

Gopee-Scoon noted that the proclamation signals the Government’s ongoing efforts through the Ministry of Trade and Industry, to create a fair and free competitive environment for business activity with emphasis on sustainable growth and development.

“The Government is committed to supporting efforts to promote and maintain competition, which at times may include challenging anti-competitive business practices to ensure that consumers have access to quality goods and services and; businesses can compete on merit,” she said.

Minster Gopee-Scoon acknowledged the concerns raised by stakeholders with regard to alleged anti-competitive practices in Trinidad and Tobago, and gave the assurance that, the Fair Trading Commission (FTC) will be working to address those concerns.

FTC Chairman Dr Ronald Ramkisson in his address stated that the legislation reflects a commitment to ensuring a fairer and more competitive business environment. 

He noted that it also deals with major issues such as the abuse of monopoly power; anti-competitive mergers and anti-competitive agreements while at the same time providing for the enforcement of the relevant clauses or enforcement measures.

Dr Ramkisson expressed confidence that the Commission is committed to promoting fair competition and challenging anticompetitive business practices wherever these are identified thus helping to ensure that businesses are able to compete on a fair and level playing field and consumers have access to quality goods and services. 

President of the Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers’ Association Franka Costelloe, noted that the Act will strengthen regulation that will improve the ease of doing business in Trinidad and Tobago and enhance the country’s ompetitiveness domestically and internationally. The fair competitive environment, she said, strengthens the country’s entrepreneurship market and encourages business growth creation.

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