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Gov't encourages private sector participation - says Trade PS

Nov 1, 2010, 2:23 PM | Article By: Isatou Senghore

The permanent secretary at the Ministry of Trade, Regional Integration and Employment, Naffie Barry, has said The Gambia has adopted competition laws and established a Competition Commission to encourage private sector participation and growth.

Mrs Barry made these remarks recently at the Paradise Hotel in Kololi at a daylong workshop on Competition Policy and Law.

The forum was organised by the Gambia Competition Commission (GCC) under the purview of the Ministry of Trade, Regional Integration and Employment.

The forum was held to enlighten participants about the functions of the commission, the provisions of the competitive laws, the benefits of the competition as well as to foster a broader acceptance across all stakeholders.

The GCC was given the responsibility to create an equitable and enabling environment in the provision of goods and services for the consumers.

"The Gambia Competition Committee is therefore tasked with the responsibility to ensure a competitive and level-playing field in the Market," she said.

She  that The Gambia, like some other countries, adopted structural programmes including market-orientated reforms, such as de-regulations, privatization of public enterprises, trade and investment.

"The underpinning of these reforms is to minimise direct government involvement or intervention in economic activities and to provide an enabling market environment for promoting economic growth," she told participants at the forum.

The market reforms, PS Barry added, were also seen as means of enhancing consumer welfare through interest variety, quantity and quality of goods, and services at market prices rather than by administrative decision.

"It is recognised that a free market economy within appropriate regulatory and competition framework is essential to sustain enterprise development," she said.

For his part, Alhagie Tamu Njie, Chairman of the Gambia Competition Commission, said competition is rivalry in production of goods and services.

Chairman Njie added that competition will always be present or confer benefits and if left unchecked or unregulated will reduce efficiency and welfare.

"Competition policy and law redirect government for conductive economic development," he said.

According to him, the act is meant to promote competition in the supply of goods and services in the country.

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