Business

Our policy impresses Solomon delegation

By RACHNA LAL A fact-finding delegation from Solomon Islands, which visited Fiji last week, have been impressed with our competition policy and want to use it as a model for
04 Sep 2012 12:29

From left: Fiji Commerce Commission chief executive, Bobby Maharaj, deputy secretary trade and investment, Sovaia Marawa, Solomon Islands secretary to price control, Elijah Gui, Fiji’s Permanent Secretary for Industry and Trade, Shaheen Ali, Solomon Islands consultant price control, Doglaus Alex, Solomon Islands director consumers affairs, Oliver Jino and Joel Abraham of Fiji Commerce Commission after their meeting at the Ministry of Industry and Trade last Friday. Photo: Courtesy of MINISTRY OF INDUSTRY AND TRADE

By RACHNA LAL

A fact-finding delegation from Solomon Islands, which visited Fiji last week, have been impressed with our competition policy and want to use it as a model for drafting their policy and laws.
This is according to the Permanent Secretary for Industry and Trade, Shaheen Ali who hosted the delegation on August 31.
The delegation was here for discussions on current and future co-operation for the development of Solomon Island’s consumer protection, competition, standards and metrology policies and laws.
“The delegation spent two days with the Fiji Commerce Commission to study their pricing template, inspection processes, and competition law,” Mr Ali said.
“The delegation indicated the Solomon Islands consumer laws needed to broaden the focus in line with the Fijian laws to encapsulate all aspects of consumer protection, competition and pricing.”
The Solomon Islands delegation was led by consultant price control, Doglaus Alex, together with director consumers affairs, Oliver Jino and secretary to price control, Elijah Gui.
Mr Ali highligted the ministry had provided assistance to other Pacific island countries such as Kiribati and Tonga through attachment in the area of trade measurement or metrology and through the provision of laboratory equipment.
“It is important to have an efficient and effective trade measurement infrastructure to ensure consumers get value for their money and there is fair competition in the market,” he said.
“In addition, countries such as East Timor, Cook Islands and Solomon Islands have been assisted through the Consumer Council of Fiji.”
Mr Ali stressed the Fijian Government was an advocate of regional approach in tackling consumer protection and fair trade to overcome the region’s lack of resources, infrastructure and capacity.
“In order to achieve the vision of a single market or an economic union, the region needs to ensure the laws impacting on regional trade, commerce and investment are compatible if not similar, hence co-operation and collaboration in this regard are vital,” he said.
In the area of consumer and trade standards, Fiji is also a member of the regional body Pacific Area Standards Congress (PASC) and with Papua New Guinea, is the only representative from the region.
Mr Ali said in line with the outcomes PASC annual meeting of 2012, held in Yeosu Korea, Fiji would liaise with its Pacific island neighbours to develop an action plan for a regional approach to standards infrastructure and training in the region.
“Fiji will continue to use foras such as International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), PASC and Melanesian Spearhead    Group (MSG) to discuss and find solutions to the Pacific consumers’ concerns,” he said.




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