Foreign Investment Waits for T&T Fair Trading Legislation


Foreign Investment Waits for T&T Fair Trading Legislation

Mr. Bevan Narinesingh, Executive Director of the  Fair Trading Commission, formally releases a statement on matters of Foreign Investments and the arrival of T&T’s Fair Trading legislation.

Noting that different entities are asking for up-to-date regulation on fair trade in Trinidad and Tobago that encourages the flow of new investors.

The Fair-Trade topic has called the attention of different organisations claiming for the need of new up-to-date regulations in Trinidad and Tobago that protects foreign investment and encourages the flow of new investors.

“The Fair-Trading Act legislation is critical for economic and sustainable development. All the major global economic powers have embraced competition and the benefits that that it can lead to, which includes higher quality goods and services being available at more competitive prices which ultimately benefits everyone because it ensures the maximization of consumer welfare,” said Bevan Narinesingh, Executive Director of the Trinidad and Tobago Fair Trading Commission.

In 2017, the Hamel-Smith Law Firm published its paper based on a compilation of topics that affect legislation in Trinidad and Tobago. Among the topics was the Fair-Trading Act. The paper identified the three main categories that the Fair-Trading Act prohibits, namely: Anti-competitive practices and agreements, such as agreements between competitors, and agreements between customers and suppliers respectively; Abuse of monopoly power, meaning companies that occupy such a position of economic strength that will operate in the market without effective constraints from its current competitors and/or potential competitors; and Anti-competitive Mergers, prohibiting the merger of enterprises that can lead into a monopoly or that doesn’t allow other companies to grow. 

The fact that the Fair-Trading Act has not been fully proclaimed may lead to foreign investors losing confidence in the country, as they wish to invest in an environment in which fair competition is guaranteed. The lack of a strong regulatory framework could result in limited or conditioned investments because of the threat of unfair competition.

  1. Glenn Hamel-Smith and Linnel Pierre, in their article “Fair Competition Coming,” published by Hamel-Smith Law Firm, noted that the Fair-Trading Act should be proclaimed soon and  recommended that companies that are merging or purchasing another companies should “seek advice to ensure that their current practices and potential investments do not run afoul of the soon to be fully in force (and enforced) Fair Trading Act.”  

“The enactment of fair-trading legislation is critical for the economical sustainable development of Trinidad & Tobago, as a matter of fact, this is part of the free market economy principles that Trinidad & Tobago has adopted since early 1990s. There was a policy behind this legislation that coincided with certain things which included proper anti-dumping legislation and proper trade remedies legislation and Trinidad and Tobago joining the World Trade Organization that really reflect that Trinidad & Tobago has embraced the free market economy. This legislation is critical for the economical sustainable development of Trinidad and Tobago and needs to be fully proclaimed,” explained Narinesingh.”