Good Morning Everyone
On behalf of the Trinidad and Tobago Fair Trading Commission I will like to take the opportunity to welcome you to the opening of this Sensitization Workshop on Competition Law and Policy. For those who do not know, I am Justice (Retired) Amrika Tiwary-Reddy and I am the Chairman of the Trinidad and Tobago Fair Trading Commission.
The primary function of the Commission is to be the watchdog for free and fair competition in the conduct of trade and business in Trinidad and Tobago. This is based on our firm belief that competition leads to the optimal allocation of scarce resources, while ensuring that the highest quality goods and services are offered for sale to the consumer at the lowest possible prices. In that regard, the Commission continues to provide for the maintenance and encouragement of competition in the conduct of trade, business and in the supply of services through the establishment of a proper and effective institutional, operational and enforcement framework for competition law and policy.
In recognition of this function, we also have a mandate to educate stakeholders about competition law and policy. Today we have with us representatives from organizations from both the public and the private sector ranging from government ministries and agencies, non-governmental organizations, the academic community, and business organizations and associations, who we have identified as collectively needing a better understanding of competition law and policy.
We will like to thank the consulting firm Equinoccio, the European Commission and the Ministry of Trade and Industry for arranging this workshop which comes at a particularly crucial time given the importance of competition law and policy to sustainable economic development. This Workshop is a continuation of our efforts to help create a competition culture in Trinidad and Tobago. This ‘culture’ we believe is best created through increasing the understanding by stakeholders of their rights, obligations and responsibilities and strengthening the competition enforcement framework. This is why the topics to be dealt with during this comprehensive one day workshop are all wide ranging and of great relevance. These topics include the objectives and benefits of Competition law and policy, the main pillars of competition law, the role of the courts, the relationship between national authorities and the CARICOM Competition Commission and the role of civil society (including the media) in competition law enforcement. Furthermore our presenter Mr Barry Headley who is a Senior Economist in the CARICOM Competition Commission is quite knowledgeable and an expert in the areas that he will be presenting on.
We hope that that this workshop will be learning experience with there being lively discussions with the expectation that there will be continuous future communication, consultation and collaboration between the Commission and your respective organizations.
In closing I take this opportunity to wish everyone a productive workshop.