Dr. Kevin Harriott, Competition Bureau Chief at the Fair Trading Commission, participated in the 2nd Meeting of the Reconvened Task Force on the Implementation of Chapter 8 of the Revised Treaty- Competition Law and Policy held in Barbados, March 19 & 20, 2015. Currently, there is no regional policy on transactions which results in mergers and acquisitions and the meeting was timely in the sense that there has been a noticeable increase in the number of such transactions which are likely to have regional effects. This is certainly the case for Jamaica in the financial and telecommunication sectors. The participants deliberated on a framework for a regional coordination of such transactions and discussed matters such as the objective, scope and the jurisdiction of the regional competition authority relative to national authorities.
Dr. Delroy Beckford, Senior Legal Counsel, presented two papers at the IV Annual Meeting at the Working Group on Trade and Competition in Latin America and the Caribbean (WGTC) in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, November 5-6, 2014. The first entitled “WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation and Implications for Intra-Regional Trade – the Case of CARICOM” examined the proposed trade facilitation agreement and the extent to which its provisions can enhance intra-regional trade for CARICOM; and the second paper entitled “Litigation of Latin American & Caribbean Countries at the World Trade Organization (WTO) and Underlying Competition Issues”, examined dispute settlement at the WTO involving Latin American and Caribbean countries regarding disputes involving competition issues.
Mr. David Miller, Executive Director, participated in a conference hosted by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD) together with the Comision Economica para America Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), Chile’s Ministry of Economy and the World Bank Group (WBG) entitled “Promoting Market Studies in Latin America”, in Santiago, Chile. The event focused on the role of market studies in enhancing the work of competition agencies towards enforcement of competition law. The key topics discussed were the benefits of market studies as an advocacy tool; the importance of access to information held by private agents and other public entities; and government’s commitment towards market studies.
The FTC, as a member of the Steering Committee of CARICOM’s project to Strengthen the CSME Regulatory and Market Regime, commented on the consultant’s inception report. The specific areas that are being addressed under the project are (a) developing a common framework policy for a single jurisdiction for business entities; (b) strengthening the administrative and enforcement mechanisms to prevent and address restrictive business practices; (c) enhancing intra-CSME cooperation and coordination in relation to consumer protection mechanisms; and (d) finalising elements of a mergers and acquisitions policy for CARICOM.